Interview with Bryant T. Jordan

Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I remember one of the first sports-centric titles I ever read. It was "On the Devil's Court" by Carl Deuker. I was 8 years old when that was released and it became my favorite book in short-order.

I wasn't even a Christian then, or even all that into basketball, but that book had a big impact on me. I became a serious baller (in more ways than one) and later repented of my sins and dedicated my life to the Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ of Nazareth shortly before graduating high school.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
1. The Bible - You can't go wrong reading a book inspired by God Himself
2. The Martyr's Mirror - I read this enormous book for the first time about a decade ago and it just amazed me. I consider it the second greatest book ever written next to good ole #1 on this list.
3. 1984 / Brave New World (Tie) - I love both of these books and consider both of them to be quite "prophetic".
4. Saving the Lakers: A Be the General Manager Book - I wrote it, but I honestly think it's the coolest sports book ever written.
5. The Book of Basketball - For such an enormous book, it's a fun read. I disagree with a lot of it, but it's still a great book.
Who are your favorite authors?
1. God
2. Tupac Shakur - Yes, I consider him an "author" even if he wrote song lyrics and poems rather than "books"
4. A host of others, including Tolstoy, Grisham, C.S. Lewis ... even Bill Simmons, none of which compare to the above two however.
What sets you apart from other sports writers?
Honestly, and I don't mean this to sound arrogant, I would say that my "Saving the Lakers" and "Saving the Celtics" books, are two projects that 99% of all sports writers would not have even attempted to write.

A guy like Larry Coon or Bill Simmons could probably read the books and immediately recognize what an insane amount of work went into them and the crazy deadlines I was working under but most sports writers wouldn't even have a clue. In fact, most sports journalists don't even truly comprehend the NBA's Collective Bargaining Agreement or how financials tie into a trade.

My books are incredibly detailed and appeal to both stat-geeks and moneyballers who fixate on the financial side of sports, yet I also incorporated a "Choose Your Own Adventure" style into the books which makes them fun reads and mind-benders as well.

I sincerely think "Saving the Lakers: A Be the General Manager Book" is the most original and perhaps the best sports-centric book to come along in years.
How could you write a book about BOTH the Lakers and Celtics; isn't that sports blasphemy?
That's a great and rather hilarious question. Actually, I'm not a "team fan" but a "player fan" so I don't get all that wrapped up, let alone emotionally-rabid over the success or failure of one particular team. Kobe Bryant is my favorite athlete of all-time, but I grew up a Pistons fan and currently love watching the Thunder as they have two of my five favorite players in Westbrook and Durant. Regardless, it honestly may have been impossible for me to write the Celtics and Lakers books if I had been a "homer", as had I been a "homer" the books would most likely be incredibly unrealistic as team-fans generally over-value their own players and under-value other team's players. I don't and therefore I was able to write incredibly realistic books.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Bryant T. Jordan is obviously a pen-name and the reason I write my sports-centric titles under a pen-name is because another one of my publishers doesn't want me using my real name. However, I honestly love indie publishing as it allows much greater control over one's book. I remember the first few offers I got from big-time publishing companies for some of my Christian books; they wanted to change a great deal of the text and I wasn't having that. I wouldn't be as picky with my sports books but I still love the creative freedom and authority indie publishing offers.

Finally, the fact of the matter is that my "Saving the Lakers" and "Saving the Celtics" titles, and even my "Open Letter to ALL Regarding Donald Sterling" book were extremely time-sensitive, so much so that conventional publishers simply could not work with such rapid deadlines. For example, I had to wait until the draft lottery at the end of May to finish the Lakers and Celtics books, and yet needed them to be in-print and e-book form before the actual NBA Draft in late June ... conventional publishers don't work on a 3 week timeline.
What do you read for pleasure?
I've always preferred non-fiction, though every now and then I will read a classic work of literature.
Describe your desk
I actually write from a bed. I used to have a writing desk and I just couldn't stand it. I now have a "writing room" with an extra comfy bed in it as well as a television (sometimes I feel like I need "background noise" or simply don't want to miss a sporting event while I'm working) in it, along with two large windows with a great view of nature and the country side. I don't want to go back to "the desk".
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Simply doing what I feel "called" to do. I cringe when I think that I could be stuck working a 9-5 job or doing something that I didn't truly love. I've always been a free spirit, outside-the-box thinker and lone-wolf and I look forward to a lifetime of the same. The last "real job" I held was when I was 22 years old, well over a decade ago, and I hope I never need to hold another "real job".
What do your fans mean to you?
Honestly I enjoy receiving emails from both fans and haters, as many times it's the haters that debate the best. I enjoy debating about sports in on-line forums and via email and love receiving emails from just about anyone.
What are you working on next?
Wait and see ...
Published 2014-06-18.
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