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The Jordan Rules Mass Market Paperback – January 1, 1993
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Chicago Sun-Times The Jordan Rules...might be the best sports book since Season on the Brink about Bob Knight.
Newsweek Jordan boasts a wicked tongue, and not just when it's hanging out as he dunks....[He] manages to blurt out enough in Smith's book to reveal his own narcissistic, trash-talking, obsessively competitive side.
Associated Press The Jordan Rules entertains throughout, but the most fun comes from just hanging out with the players. Smith takes us into the locker room, aboard the team plane and team bus, and seats us on the bench during games. Sometimes, books reflecting on a team's success don't reach the personal level with the people who made it happen: The Jordan Rules does.
Fred Barnes (The McLaughlin Group) The American Spectator A riveting account...what you want in a sports book: the behind-the-scenes stuff, a peek at the private side of the players, their hobbies and politics and religion, the way they get along or don't...It's fair to compare The Jordan Rules with the campaign books that appear after every presidential race....The difference is not only that The Jordan Rules explains more persuasively than most of the campaign chronicles how the winner was decided -- it's that it does so more interestingly and with more understanding of the human heart.
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Top Customer Reviews
Great sports books are usually the case of the right writer (Smith in this case) being in a position to cover the right story at just the right time (Jon Krakauer's "Into Thin Air" is another example). That is certainly the case here. As a sports reporter for The Chicago Tribune, Smith had plenty of access to the team during that first championship run, and he interviewed all of the principals extensively. Fortunately, Smith pulls no punches. The book's title refers to the preferential treatment afforded to Jordan that was a constant source of irritation to his teammmates. Then-Bulls Center Bill Cartwright, for example, is memorably qoted as saying that Jordan is, "Maybe the greatest athelete ever to play any sport...He's just not a basketball player."
Overall, "The Jordan Rules" is that rare sports book that transcends the particular sport it covers and can be enjoyed by any sports fan.
We see them as if we were a part of the team.
*Hopson weeping after the 1991 title due to a fleeting feeling of comradely.
* Michael Jordan's off-the-court feud with Isaiah Thomas.
*Pippen demanding to be traded due to contract negotiations.
* Jerry "Crums" Krause being ridiculed publicly by Jordan and his brown-nosing cronies.
* Alliances forged through empathetic teammates who viewed the team's other pockets of faction with distrusting, and sometimes vengeful eyes.
* Cliff Levingston's constant butt-kissing of "His Airness".
* Horace Grant physically standing up to Jordan in practice and bragging about it later.
* Scottie Pippen's inward fear of Dennis Rodman.
* Phil Jackson's craving to buy a gun after a private meeting with a then-psychotic Scott Williams.
* The Pistons' mental control of B.J. Armstrong, Scottie Pippen, and others.
* Stacey King and Michael Jordan's verbal wars.
* Literal fist fights between certain players in practice.
* Jordan's constant campaign to assume control of the team's decision-making processes and how Phil Jackson combated his egocentric, and often enigmatic star.
A priviledged look into the makings of one of sports' greatest teams ever, and a eye-opening look into the makings of sports' greatest hero.
This was controversial because it gave a rare glimpse of Michael Jordan outside of a Nike commercial or NBA promotional video. And indeed, while there's plenty of drama to go around, Jordan comes off the worst, seeming selfish and mean spirited to his teammates. In the end (spoilers are hardly worth warning about in this book), he and the team come together and beat both the hated Pistons and the Lakers, but for kids growing up idolizing Jordan, these stories serve to shatter a well crafted image.
At the time, there were some denials by Jordan and some of the other players (Stacey King, who perhaps comes off worse than Jordan in places, compared it to "Mother Goose") but for me, these stories seem to ring true. The stories in here aren't that unbelievable, or uncommon in sports. Books like this serve to undo the narrative that we as fans (often with a willing press) build in our own heads, with our team, bearing our hometown's name and a distinctive logo as the good guys. The truth is that teams are made of individuals, human ones, some who if we met we'd like, and some we wouldn't. They have their own lives and concerns, and more often than not simply don't go through the vicarious identification we as fans do. It's easy to see why journalists, in private talk, tend to root for players they like instead of teams.
Sam Smith clearly has his favorites, the hard working Paxson, the beleaguered Cartwright. The weakness is that the book often reads more like a collection of anecdotes than a full narrative, with often awkward writing (as another mentioned, comparing Chuck Daly's sideline antics to Fred Astaire, then Bobby Knight).Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I wonder if Michael Jordan would have been able to protect his image and come across as a good guy in the age of Twitter and 24-hour news. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
Fantastic book. It documents the Chicago Bulls first three-peat and the chemistry issues they had. It points out the egos that were in the locker room and how on some nights those... Read morePublished 2 months ago by N. Caso
Well written and maintains interest through details of the Bulls early championship seasons while giving some insight of the personalities on the team.Published 6 months ago by Fred
Best insiders look at what it was like to be a teammate of Michael Jordan. And it often wasn't pretty.Published 7 months ago by R. Siminoff
Thoroughly good read showing how professional sport really is. A tad opinionated with a disjointed delivery but the insights and pressure is conveyed brilliantlyPublished 7 months ago by Tezza
Shows what even winning franchises go through year to year. Jordan's the best ever but not a great teammate or person for that matter. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Kristen Carmody