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The Jordan Rules Mass Market Paperback – January 1, 1993


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Books (January 1, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671796666
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671796662
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 4.3 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (95 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #24,760 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

New York Newsday An engaging, sometimes cruelly funny behind-the-scenes look at the Bulls' tantrum-and doubt-filled but finally triumphant journey to the NBA title.

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.

About the Author

Sam Smith was a reporter for the Chicago Tribune during the Chicago Bulls' 1991 championship season. He is a Brooklyn, New York, native with degrees in accounting from Pace University and in journalism from Ball State University. He has worked for Arthur Young and Co., the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel, and States News Service in Washington, D.C. This is his first book.

More About the Author

Sam Smith has been covering the Chicago Bulls and the NBA for more than three decades, as reporter and columnist for the Chicago Tribune for 28 years, and currently for Bulls.com. Recipient of the prestigious Curt Gowdy Media Award from the NBA Hall of Fame, he also received the Professional Basketball Writers Association Lifetime Achievement award in 2011. He is the author of the classic bestselling book The Jordan Rules, for which he had unparalleled access to Michael Jordan and 1991-92 Chicago Bulls. He has written extensively for media outlets around the world, including ESPN.com, ESPN magazine, NBC Sports, Basketball Digest, The Sporting News, and for major publications in Japan and China.

Customer Reviews

One of the most exciting books I ever read being a basketball fan.
Elton Lopes
Especially when you read it more than 20 years following its first publication.
Plamen
Pretty good read really shows a side of Jordan I didn't know about.
cole watson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Brian D. Rubendall HALL OF FAME on August 29, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
With "The Jordan Rules," Sam Smith proves why he is one of the very best sportswriters in America. The book follows Jordan and the Bulls during their first championship season (1990-1991), before Jordan established himself as the most successful NBA player (in terms of championships) since Bill Russell. What is largely forgotten today is that in his first six years in the NBA was thought of as a selfish ballplayer who would never win a championship because he was not a "team player." Enter coach Phil Jackson, who in his first year would manage to convince his star player that in order for his team to win the championship, he would need to rely more on his teammates.
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.
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful By J. Munyon on May 9, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is one of the great books that I had a hard time putting down. Sam Smith plays with our intrigue and wins out, enticing us to keep reading as we ask, "Did Isaiah Thomas really say that?" or "How did the Bulls stand together when at least half the team was demanding trades in 1991?"

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.
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15 of 20 people found the following review helpful By P Magnum HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 23, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Michael Jordan has transcended from the ranks of a mere athlete to a cultural icon. Between the shoes and clothing line, all the commercials, the image, the accolades, the title of ultimate champion, one can sometimes forget that before he won his first title in 1991, people viewed Mr. Jordan in a different light. He was looked at a tremendous scorer, but not a winner. People questioned whether he would tone down his scoring and become more of a team player in order to breakthrough and win a title. The name of the book comes from the Detroit Piston's rules against playing Jordan. Sam Smith was a beat reporter for the Bulls and his insights into the innerworkings of the team during their first title run in 1990-91 are revealing and entertaining. Though his views of Mr. Jordan sometimes cast him in a less than favorable light (in reading the book you get the feeling that Mr. Smith is not a big Jordan fan), what he does show is that Mr. Jordan had an intense desire to be the best at everything he does. It is this intensity that made him the greatest ever. Every fan of Michael Jordan or fan of the game of basketball should read this book as it is an interesting chapter in the career of the best ever to lace up the sneakers.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Evan Day on February 6, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback
A detailed, journal like retelling of the Chicago Bulls 1991 championship season, their first of six in the 90s.

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).
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