As one of the greatest, most celebrated athletes in history, Michael Jordan conquered professional basketball as no one had before. Powered by a potent mix of charisma, nearly superhuman abilities, and a ferocious need to dominate the game, he won six NBA championships with the Chicago Bulls and captured every basketball award and accolade conceivable before retiring and taking a top executive post with the Washington Wizards. But retirement didn't suit the man who was once king, and at the advanced age of thirty-eight Michael Jordan set out to reclaim the court that had been his dominion. When Nothing Else Matters is the definitive account of Jordan's equally spectacular and disastrous return to basketball. Having gone on the road to chronicle Jordan's final two seasons, award-winning Washington Post writer Michael Leahy draws a riveting portrait of a deeply complex man waylaid by his impulses and impatience, frequently hampered by injuries, assaulted by younger players eager to usurp his throne, and ultimately done in by his presumption. Encouraged for two decades by his sport's magnates to believe that he had no limits or superiors, Jordan could not see his influence and power fading as his Wizards days ticked down and his team's losses and dissension grew. For teammates and outsiders alike, the star emerged as a relentlessly driven, at times unapproachable personality. Leahy reveals the striking contrast between Jordan's public image and the man who couldn't stand not "bein' it." Hell-bent on transforming the mediocre Wizards into championship contenders, Jordan controlled every facet of his new team, dispensing orders behind the scenes to coaches and players. As his anger and bitterness over Washington's on-court setbacks became increasingly public, his teammates' resentment of him stoked already burgeoning tensions between Jordan and the Wizards' top brass. Leahy unmasks the myths and unravels the deeper lessons behind the highs and lows of the two seasons, illuminating the excruciating reality Jordan was forced to accept after the Wizards' failed playoff bid in his final season. When Nothing Else Matters is about nothing less than a man struggling to come to grips with the end of a career, and the uncertainty of his life ahead.
Michael Leahy is a staff writer for The Washington Post and The Washington Post Magazine. The recipient of numerous awards for journalistic excellence, Leahy has been honored with the selection of his stories for the 2001, 2002, 2003, and 2004 editions of The Best American Sports Writing anthologies. He lives outside Washington, D.C.
"The best sports book of the year...easily the most fully formed portrait of Jordan ever written." -- GQ
"Riveting, myth-shattering." -- Dan McGrath, Chicago Tribune
"Michael Leahy has written a heck of a book....Mr. Leahy combines an unrelenting eye for detail with extraordinary big-picture analysis." -- Jon Ward, The Washington Times
"A gripping behind-the-scenes book...an important corrective to our current celebrity culture." -- John Marshall, Seattle Post-Intelligencer
"When Nothing Else Matters gives us the best look we are likely to have of Jordan in decline...The result is a richly detailed, anecdote-driven account of one of the most famous men in the world approaching the end of his rope." -- Ron Rapoport, Chicago Sun-Times