The Rise: Kobe Bryant and the Pursuit of Immortality

The Rise: Kobe Bryant and the Pursuit of Immortality

by Mike Sielski
The Rise: Kobe Bryant and the Pursuit of Immortality

The Rise: Kobe Bryant and the Pursuit of Immortality

by Mike Sielski


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Notes From Your Bookseller

A compelling story about Kobe Bryant before he was the Black Mamba. Sielski does a wonderful job walking readers through Bryant’s early years and his beginning with the NBA. This inside look at one of the greatest basketball players is a must read for anyone who loves the sport.

"A compelling origin story of a time that really wasn’t so long ago but through the lens of tragedy feels like forever. Kobe-ologists will devour this book, reveling in the anecdotes about his intensity & the engaging game recaps." —Associated Press

“Every superhero needs an origin story.” –Jeff Pearlman

The inside look at one of the most captivating and consequential figures in our culture—with never-before-heard interviews.

Kobe Bryant’s death in January 2020 did more than rattle the worlds of sports and celebrity. The tragedy of that helicopter crash, which also took the life of his daughter Gianna, unveiled the full breadth and depth of his influence on our culture, and by tracing and telling the oft-forgotten and lesser-known story of his early life, The Rise promises to provide an insight into Kobe that no other analysis has.

In The Rise, readers will travel from the neighborhood streets of Southwest Philadelphia—where Kobe’s father, Joe, became a local basketball standout—to the Bryant family’s isolation in Italy, where Kobe spent his formative years, to the leafy suburbs of Lower Merion, where Kobe’s legend was born. The story will trace his career and life at Lower Merion—he led the Aces to the 1995-96 Pennsylvania state championship, a dramatic underdog run for a team with just one star player—and the run-up to the 1996 NBA draft, where Kobe’s dream of playing pro basketball culminated in his acquisition by the Los Angeles Lakers.

In researching and writing The Rise, Mike Sielski had a terrific advantage over other writers who have attempted to chronicle Kobe’s life: access to a series of never-before-released interviews with him during his senior season and early days in the NBA. For a quarter century, these tapes and transcripts preserved Kobe’s thoughts, dreams, and goals from his teenage years, and they contained insights into and told stories about him that have never been revealed before.

This is more than a basketball book. This is an exploration of the identity and making of an icon and the effect of his development on those around him—the essence of the man before he truly became a man.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781250275721
Publisher: St. Martin's Publishing Group
Publication date: 01/11/2022
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 17,329
Product dimensions: 6.50(w) x 8.80(h) x 1.40(d)

About the Author

MIKE SIELSKI is a columnist for The Philadelphia Inquirer and author. The Associated Press Sports Editors voted him the country’s top sports columnist in 2015, and his previous book, Fading Echoes: A True Story of Rivalry and Brotherhood from the Football Field to the Fields of Honor, was published in 2009. Sielski lives in Bucks County, Pa., with his wife and two sons.

Table of Contents

Preface: The Signs of Things to Come vii

Part I

1 After the Fire 3

2 A Safe Haven 19

3 God and the Devil in them 27

4 Child of the World 43

Part II

5 Angels at Sunrise 63

6 Bats and Mice and the Ride of a Lifetime 75

7 Losing 93

8 Swagger 115

9 Se Dio Vuole 127

10 Ok, Let's Play 139

11 The Pit 163

12 Myth and Reality 175

Part III

13 Secrets and Sharks 205

14 The Cancer of Me 227

15 Relax, I Got This 247

16 The Tunnel 259

17 The Final Game 275

18 The Speed at Which Things Change 293

19 Now I'm a Laker 311

20 Open Gym 325

Afterword: His Story, and His Voice 333

Acknowledgments 339

Notes and Sources 343

Selected Bibliography 363

Index 365

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