The Rise: Kobe Bryant and the Pursuit of Immortality

St. Martin’s. Jan. 2022. 384p. ISBN 9781250275721. $29.99. SPORTS
The shocking accidental death of basketball superstar Kobe Bryant in January 2020 remains one of those moments when time seemed to stand still. Hailed as the next Michael Jordan and drafted into the National Basketball Association at age 17, Bryant’s unique coming of age was eclipsed by his Hall of Fame career and untimely death. Journalist Sielski (Philadelphia Inquirer) tells Bryant’s childhood–to–NBA-draft story with exclusive input, meticulous research, and a smooth narrative style. Along the way, he shows how talented young athletes move to the next level, and the impact that success has on their families and communities. Basketball and sports fans, cultural historians, and readers interested in how a shy boy turned into a global phenomenon will enjoy this fast-paced, captivating biography and gain new appreciation for one of the most admired athletes of his generation.
VERDICT A landmark account of Kobe Bryant’s early life, this is an essential purchase for sports collections in all public libraries. Sielski’s biography will stand as the most objective, definitive record of Bryant’s childhood and youth, and invites a sequel that will similarly cover his professional career and personal story beyond the 1996 NBA draft.
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