Now in paperback, this title offers an insider look at the NBA phenom, including the Lakers' 1999-2000 championship season. When Kobe Bryant joined the glitzy Los Angeles Lakers in 1996 right out of high school, he faced a wave of media hype that declared him the next Michael Jordan. Now a veteran of five NBA seasons at the age of 23, Bryant has earned a place among pro basketball's elite. "Mad Game" documents his hard lessons on the road to stardom, his rapid rise through the NBA, and his conflicts with - and, at times, alienation from - his teammates, including his on-and-off-again relationship with Shaquille O'Neal. This is a story of triumph, of an unusually gifted young athlete trying to remain true to himself and his game.