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The Jordan Rules

4.22  ·  Rating Details  ·  10,045 Ratings  ·  154 Reviews
The most gifted athlete ever to play the game, Michael Jordan rose to heights no basketball player had ever reached before. What drove Michael Jordan? The pursuit of team success...or of his own personal glory? The pursuit of excellence...or of his next multimillion-dollar endorsement? The flight of the man they call Air Jordan had
Paperback, 384 pages
Published January 1st 1993 by Pocket Books (first published January 1992)
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The Book of Basketball by Bill SimmonsThe Breaks of the Game by David HalberstamWhen the Game Was Ours by Larry BirdA Season on the Brink by John FeinsteinThe Jordan Rules by Sam Smith
Tales from the Hardwood
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47th out of 50 books — 14 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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William Johnson
Reprinted from my website Secure Immaturity:

A good sports book is one that, even if the ending is known, still builds suspense and doubt in the reader. In that regard, The Jordan Rules, by then-first time author Sam Smith is a failure. The book follows the exploits of the 1990-1991 Chicago Bulls. . .probably the least impressive of the six champion Bulls teams. The title comes from a phrase the Detroit Pistons used during their reign as an Eastern Conference power: the Jordan Rules were rules th
07EthanW Wibben
Oct 19, 2011 07EthanW Wibben rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What struck me the most in the book was the attitude that Jordan had toward basketball. In the book Jordan talks about how he could not wait for his contract to end so that he could retire and play golf. I would think that the arguably best basketball player would never want to quit and would want to play for as long as possible and win as much as possible. I would defiantly read more books by Sam Smith. He did a great job getting a lot of information and quotes from the players and made a great ...more
Jose Tagle
Feb 06, 2012 Jose Tagle rated it it was amazing
lms for TBH!!!! so bored at school -___-
Vent Casey
Jul 31, 2015 Vent Casey rated it really liked it
Smith does a good job of giving insight into the frame of mind that the 1990-91 Chicago Bulls were in, going into and through the season. I like how every player and coach is given their own profile apart from Jordan, and how they are revealed as humans whose job is to play and coach basketball, not as the 2-dimensional people that they are portrayed as by sports media. Also, how they managed egos, agendas, and moods to win the title. Was a quick, yet informatively entertaining read for me.
Mar 20, 2013 03mckayc rated it it was amazing
YEAR: 1992
#OF PAGES: 378
Sean Polite
Solid, revealing insider's tale on the MJ led Chicago Bulls. If you're interested in team psychology or the life of a pro sports team (or just a Bulls fan), this is the book for you. On a much deeper scale, what could be called a scathing analysis of Jordan in this book can also be viewed as a validation to the presence of the narcissistic, manically competitive shadows that complement the light of the gifted, excellent performers who are blessed to have achieved notable fame for it (in and out ...more
Feb 08, 2011 Patrick rated it liked it
Here is a book full of fun anecdotes and several engaging theses (Phil Jackson is a genius! Jerry Krause is a douchebag! Stacey King is the fat guy who sucks!) and mires all of this in shitty writing. I don't understand how a chronological, journalistic history about 15 people you basically know personally can somehow have a muddy chronology and manage to confuse, but Sam Smith managed to do it. Three stars basically by virtue of the fact that this is the minimum score I could give a book about ...more
Dec 19, 2014 Andrew rated it really liked it
The Jordan Rules by Sam Smith is a book written by Sam Smith, a Chicago newspaper writer that had inside access to the Chicago Bulls in their first championship season which was 1990-91. Smith follows Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen and Horace Grant through a grueling season that had ups and downs, both on and off the court. Smith wrote this book to give readers a flavor for the personalities of some of the biggest superstars the NBA has seen.

Sam Smith followed and heard every little bit of what
Daniel O'Keefe
Dec 05, 2014 Daniel O'Keefe rated it really liked it
His Airness: The Book
Sam Smith may be the most boring singer ever, but the writer Sam Smith is a very good basketball writer. The Jordan Rules is a 1992 nonfiction book by the writer Sam Smith, not the boring Sam Smith. Also, Sam Smith is correct: He is not the only one (named Sam Smith). Fun Fact: Michael Jordan (not the actor) hates this book.
Why does Michael Jordan hate this book? Simply, because the books paints him as an asshole. Okay, asshole might be sort-of a strong word. However, it doe
Aug 18, 2014 Dave rated it liked it
Took a ride in the time machine with my first e-book, ironically, being The Jordan Rules. I always had the misconception that this was a best seller for its depiction of the Detroit Pistons method of stopping Jordan. Having been a young man during the Bulls reign of championship basketball, this was an enjoyable ride down memory lane with the victories and NBA playoff recollections. I wasn't fully aware of the disharmony that existed within the Bulls locker room, but I had heard anecdotes before ...more
Mar 18, 2014 Swerve rated it really liked it
This book takes you one the journey of Michael Jordan basketball career, which led him to six rings when his career ended. This book does not just talk about the amazing Michael Jordan; it talks about more personal things with Michael. This book explains how the Bulls got there road to fame as well.Lastly, The Jordan Rules shows how with hard work and determination most things can be achieved. The things I liked about this book were the conflicts that took place during the years that Jordan play ...more
Eric Brown
Feb 19, 2016 Eric Brown rated it liked it
The Jordan Rules by Sam Smith is an engaging and a sometimes a cruelly funny story of "Jordan and the Jordanirs" on their epic season to the championship. Jordan knew that his next year he had to do something about strength so all off season Jordan spent most of hid time in the weight room getting stronger . He soon finds out that next year he would have players. The Bulls also got coach Phil Jackson. This gave Jordan some extra confidence,he now knew they were a championship caliber team. But ...more
Matt Lee Sharp
Jan 28, 2014 Matt Lee Sharp rated it liked it
Shelves: sport
I am sure reading this book in 2014 has a great effect on my rating. What's most interesting about this book is reading about the reactions to it. This book came out at the perfect time, coinciding with the first real frenzied peak of Jordan hysteria and at a time when new technologies and the rise of cable television were making a 24 hours sports media empire possible. It's wild the degree to which players so few years ago were able to keep things about themselves private in the same way it's w ...more
Paulo Glez Ogando
Jan 15, 2014 Paulo Glez Ogando rated it really liked it
Shelves: baloncesto
I enjoyed this book about a year in a pro basketball team. Besides a successful year, the 1990-91 season in which the Chicago Bulls won the NBA. However, as says the book cover “the inside story of a turbulent session”, that was a difficult year with problems, complaints, envy...

The most interesting theme I find in this book is not strictly sports, but psychology. The insight of a pro team, their life together and the relationships existing between them. Between everyone, not only the players, b
Mar 02, 2016 Alex rated it liked it
The best part about this book is that it puts you right there in the locker room with the '91-'92 Bulls. After reading this book, I feel like I have listened to every conversation between every player on that team, all year long. And while this level of access is fascinating, it also becomes boring after a while. One can only read so many chapters about the same players bickering about the same issues. There is also a lot of fascinating history on each player and many of the coaches, but sometim ...more
Dec 17, 2014 Travis rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
This book has long been touted as one of the greatest basketball books ever written and I couldn't have been more disappointed. The intrigue of a behind the scenes look at MJ, PJ, SP and the rest of the Bull's organization was enough to propel me through the book at a pretty good clip but not enough for me to excuse the cardboard writing, overused expressions and haphazard structure. The author took obvious journalistic pride in leaving himself out of the story. The truth is you don't get access ...more
Justin Castillo
Jan 18, 2016 Justin Castillo rated it really liked it
It started off in the 1989-90 where the great Michael Jordan was recovering from a hard season the year before. It was a series that was played hard, especially for Jordan but also for the Chicago Bulls fans and their beloved players also. It was a series that would soon become a rivalry between the Chicago Bulls and the Detroit Pistons. But then the Bulls found themselves in the Playoffs again,the first round they knocked off the Cleveland Cavaliers, and then a beautiful 5 game series against ...more
India Celeste
Jan 22, 2014 India Celeste rated it it was amazing
It took me a long time to get through this book, and not because of lack of quality or interest... This book was AMAZING. Perhaps I was inching though it at the right time, when I questioned my own enthusiasm and challenges with my coworkers, superiors, and role at my own job. Every chapter gave me something to think deeply about and something to laugh about. In this book, Jordan wasn't the star of the team; everyone was. Jordan wasn't the only one frustrated; everyone was. Phil Jackson wasn't t ...more
Feb 06, 2012 Evan rated it liked it
Shelves: sports
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 Pis
May 19, 2013 Robert rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Jordan Rules is a book I have been meaning to read for some twenty years. When the book came out it was considered scandalous as it lifted the veil on the image of Michael Jordan as something not quite so perfect. In actuality it was a book about a group of individuals who worked together struggling to get along as their personal and group ambitions sometimes clashed.

In retrospect it was the perfect book to write as it chronicled the first Michael Jordan-led Bulls team to win a title. At tha
Fawaz Ali
Jan 18, 2012 Fawaz Ali rated it it was amazing
Shelves: platinum-list
The Jordan Rules by Sam Smith is a must read book for anyone interested in understanding the bright and dark side of both Jordan the player and more importantly Jordan the person. The book chronicles the story of the 1991 Chicago Bulls and follows the relationships between Michael Jordan and his teammates as they struggle to win their first NBA championship. What makes the book different is that Smith corrects the notion that athletes are supposed to behave differently compared to other human be ...more
Sep 13, 2010 Neal rated it liked it
This review will be a little longer than most of my trademark short ones.

First off, I am a little bias, as I am a huge Jordan fan. But I know Jordan can be kind of an asshole. If you don't know that, you don't know Jordan. You have to be kind of an asshole to be the greatest ever at anything.

That being said, Sam Smith, wants you to think Jordan is a selfish asshole throughout this book.

Things I liked about this book:

- You get some valuable insight on every single player on the 1991 Bulls team, d
Andrew M
Jan 16, 2013 Andrew M rated it it was amazing
The Jordan Rules by Sam Smith is a book written by Sam Smith, a Chicago newspaper writer that had inside access to the Chicago Bulls in their first championship season which was 1990-91. Smith follows Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen and Horace Grant through a grueling season that had ups and downs, both on and off the court. Smith wrote this book to give readers a flavor for the personalities of some of the biggest superstars the NBA has seen.

Sam Smith followed and heard every little bit of what
Oct 18, 2011 Patrick rated it really liked it
We live in an age where it's very, very easy to get caught up in the moment. There are so many news and pop-culture outlets, talking heads, and media programs that exist almost solely to provoke instant nostalgia and put current events into historical perspective. Every big game by an athlete was the GREATEST PERFORMANCE IN HISTORY and every crappy movie that comes out is the worst. movie. ever. It's easy to lose perspective.

And so that's how LeBron James became the reason I read a nearly 20 yea
Dr. Mantis Toboggan, M.D.
Jul 11, 2013 Dr. Mantis Toboggan, M.D. rated it did not like it
Shelves: reviewed
I’m not really a fan of basketball anymore, but I loved it as a kid during the Michael Jordan era and I still enjoy reading about the subject from time to time. Books like Phil Jackson’s The Last Season and Jack McCallum’s Seven Seconds or Less are both entertaining, informative reads that give you an insight into what life is like behind the scenes of the NBA (I.E. hard-working coaches having to deal with spoiled, overpaid athletes who whine about everything like petulant man-children.) When I ...more
Jun 06, 2012 Mighty_k24 rated it really liked it
Genre: het leven zoals het is: het basketballteam

In't kort: de ondertitel 'The inside Story of a turbulent Season with Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls' dekt de lading volledig. We volgen de piepjonge Chicago Bulls, geleid door rijzende ster Michael Jordan, tijdens hun break-out season 1991-'92, met als bekroning hun allereerste NBA-titel.

Mijn oordeel: dit was één van de allereerste 'het leven zoals het is: team X of speler Y'-boeken, en legt de lat meteen erg hoog voor zijn ondertussen onte
Omar Masood
Jan 08, 2010 Omar Masood rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sports
This is a very good look at the inner workings of a basketball team over the course of a season. This does not cover any basketball team, though. This covers a championship team led by perhaps the greatest basketball player in history along with another legend in Scottie Pippen and the greatest coach ever in Phil Jackson. This is the first such book I have read and the amount of turbulence experienced by the 1991 Bulls was a surprise. How could a team win 61 games and romp through the playoffs w ...more
Dec 09, 2008 Shivesh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ballin
Growing up as a hardcore Lakers fan in California, the nineties were a painful decade for the most part. Until the trade that brought the Big Diesel to the City of Angels, there wasn’t much hope for us fans to see a proper team. To add insult to all this, the Chicago Bulls were running rampant through the league and Jordan was God. I loved watching Michael and Scottie do their thing but I can’t say I liked them as individuals. ‘The Jordan Rules’ is a classic sports history of the Bulls’ first ch ...more
William Douglas
Oct 18, 2013 William Douglas marked it as to-read
The Jordan Rules by Sam Smith is of the best sport book, and probably one of the best books I have read. This book takes you one the journey of Michael Jordan basketball career, which led him to receive six rings when it was all said and done. This book does not just talk about the amazing Michael Jordan; it goes a lot deeper things. The book talks about the things audience can’t see, because the publishers chooses not to show it for different reason. This book explains the logistics the Bulls r ...more
Dec 09, 2013 Montel rated it really liked it
"The Jordan Rules", by Sam Smith is another inspirational and interesting book, that i feel all readers may enjoy. This book talk about Michael Jordan journey to fame. as he went from a young kid who got cut from his basketball team his freshman year to one of the greatest ball players ever. The book does not only just talk about his basketball but it tell us about his life growing up and the struggles he faced as a basketball player. one of the many things I liked about the book is how it does ...more
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Mrs. Young- The J...: Predictions 3 4 Sep 19, 2014 08:34AM  
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“If you spend time wishing you had other players and scheming to get rid of them or not being loyal, either you end up hating them or they end up hating you, and that cannot be productive.” 2 likes
“It’s hard playing on a team with Michael Jordan because you’re always the reason the team lost.” 1 likes
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