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The Jordan Rules

4.24  ·  Rating details ·  12,789 ratings  ·  205 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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Will 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 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
Oct 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing
lms for TBH!!!! so bored at school -___-
Keenan Johnston
May 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
I had no idea that the Bulls first championship season was so dysfunctional. Jordan was selfish and hadn't realized yet that he couldn't win championships without the help of his teammates. This was the first season they implemented "the triangle" in an effort to force the ball out of MJ's hands, but he kind of refused to use the offensive system and I got the sense they never really mastered it that year. The entire team was frustrated with MJ and his special treatment. Pippen and Paxson were n ...more
Connor To
Oct 02, 2018 rated it really liked it

My name is Connor To, and I have the privilege to interview the best basketball player ever, Michael Jordan. A biography about his life, called The Jordan Rules, by Sam Smith, breaks down his whole basketball career. A humble legend, born in Brooklyn, New York. He is one of the hardest workers ever to play the sport, always motivated and determined to be the best, and hated to lose, most of all. His legacy changed basketball forever, and will be known as one of the greatest basketball players an
Joe Loncarich
Nov 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Finally read this book, you know, 25 years after it was relevant, but it's a great look into that Bulls first championship team of the 90s. At first I thought it was amazing that it didn't harm Jordan's reputation more, but then I realized that books are for nerds, and there's no place for nerds in sports.
Mar 19, 2013 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 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
Vent Casey
Jul 31, 2015 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.
Daniel O'Keefe
Dec 05, 2014 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 do
Deogratias Rweyemamu
Nov 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
I was excited to finally read this book after much criticism that followed it's release. Finally, here was a third person account of what went on behind the life of mystical Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls.

I think Sam Smith is one of the only handful of people who could have given such an insightful view of Jordan and the Bulls heading into their first championship. His access to the team and players during the late 80s and 90s was pivotal to writing the book.

I truly enjoyed how Smith pai
Sean Flynn
Oct 04, 2017 rated it liked it
the book was worth reading for me if only because it's about one of my all-time favorite teams, and because i had never read it when it first came out, even though it was the source of much discussion and controversy back then. it's also interesting to remember the context of that team--the prevailing idea of the time that no MJ-led team would ever win a title, juxtaposed with the knowledge that he ended up with six rings.
that being said, i didn't find it to be particularly good. it was basical
Nov 01, 2017 rated it liked it
This book details the internal workings of the Chicago Bulls during the 1990/91 season as they won their first NBA Championship. What emerges is a fascinating look at the personalities, both on and off the court, of the Chicago Bulls players and management. Michael Jordan comes across as not just competitive but super-competitive, seemingly sometimes at the expense of personal relationships. Scottie Pippen comes across as being overly affect by the Bull’s pursuit of Toni Kokoc. Horace Grant come ...more
Aug 22, 2017 rated it liked it
Dette er ei bok for basketinteresserte, først og fremst. Det beste med den er alle anekdotane, menneskene og forholdene desse imellom den beskriver i Jordans første mesterskapssesong, og sjølv om det har gått over 25 år er mange av historiane vel så interessante å lese i dag. No er den først og fremst eit unikt innblikk i 90-tallets definerende basketlag, og sesongen dei endelig nådde toppen, for mange av tinga som først vart avslørt her (MJs nådeløse konkurranseinstinkt og brutale lederstil, må ...more
Sep 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book gave a lot of insight into Michael Jordan "off the court", meaning at practice, in the locker room, his home life, and the way he interacted with those people in his circle. His competitive streak and lack of patience with other players is well documented, but this book sheds additional light on how hard he pushed himself, and others, to achieve excellence. He doesn't took losing anything! Sam Smith gives some perspective from his teammates and what it was really like to ...more
Trenton J
Nov 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Jordan Rules is a book that gives you stories of Michael Jordan that you cant get from watching highlights. There are some of his highlights, but it tells about baseball, his work ethic, and other facts and stories that give you a greater understanding of the greatest basketball player to ever live. It tells about the passion, like when him and his teammates would go at it in practice and why. I was interested throughout the whole book, and would recommend this to anyone who considers themse ...more
Jun 23, 2011 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
Kaushik M.
Sep 05, 2018 rated it liked it
Interesting look at how high-level teams and organizations function, removes the halo a bit from one of the all-time greats and shows him as brash, impetuous, gifted, and very human. Shows how a championship team was is fairly complimentary of Phil Jackson's management skills and personality. Book jumps around a lot at the end and gets a bit confusing. Its pretty in-depth in terms of the day-to-day and week to week writer could have this level of access today, so its def ...more
Jun 14, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

The alternative title could have been, "Why, Yes, Michael Jordan Really Was An Unpleasant Teammate." It's also a fascinating glimpse of Phil Jackson before he became the Zen Master, as it seems as if he was barely holding on to the reins of the team; and, even then, liked to play little mind games. It's crazy that they managed to be cohesive enough to be as successful as they were.
Sep 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: essay-history
A classic on how champions are made, if not in the elegant manner one could think from the outside. Not being a star like Jordan makes one struggle when trying to understand some of his actions throughout the winning season. And that's what it makes the book most interesting to me, as it then focuses on how the rest of the players react to being close to the only man who can bring them close to a ring, while at the same time suffering as diminished role players.
Nithin Reddy
Oct 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Jordan Rules offers an insight into the magical seasons of the early 1990s. I learned many things about those early Bulls (I wasn't born then), especially the antics and personality of Michael Jordan. Smith reveals the many terrible things about my role model including his gambling addiction, bullying of teammates (especially young guys), hatred toward management, and much more. Read this, if you're looking to turn back the clock to 90s basketball.
Mugizi Rwebangira
May 24, 2018 rated it liked it
It has some good content but I found it very poorly written. It reads like something that was written in a great rush, which is exactly what happened.

The stories of what was going on behind the scene at the time are pretty interesting, although obviously they don't resonate in 2018 as they did in 1991.

I wouldn't say it's ESSENTIAL reading, but if you're a big Michael Jordan fan or followed the NBA closely in the 1990s it's probably worth a read.
Mihály Szabó
Apr 05, 2018 rated it it was ok
Érdekes, de túlságosan részletekbe menő, nem eléggé könnyed olvasmány. De kétségtelenül izgalmas "belehallgatni" az öltözői beszélgetésekbe, mélyebben belelátni a játékosok életébe, lelkivilágába stb. (Ki gondolta volna, hogy Jordan már 1990-ben gondolkodott a visszavonuláson, még ha ebből hátránya is származik!)
Oct 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I'd never read it before, and it's amazing. It's hard to think of another sports book (and I've read a ton of them) that has this much insider detail. I remember it being considered an MJ hitjob when it came out, and he does not come across well in the book, but in the end I think it's honest, and what MJ has revealed about his character since then confirms that.
Jul 08, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I could give this three stars, but sticking with two. It's just really boring. Page after page after page about how Jordan alienated his teammates and shot all the time. Mixed in are some interesting stories and a seemingly game-by-game chronicle of the season. I skimmed large sections.
Michael Wardrop
Oct 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Jordan Rules is fantastic. Extremely ‘inside baseball’ and with language that feels a bit dated now, this is still an extraordinary window into the first championship for the sport’s greatest ever player. Worth a read for anyone in interested in basketball, leadership or sports history.
Chantell Thomas
Oct 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I thought this book was a good book because it basically was talking about how M.J did his job and how he did his job well. This book is basically all about his life and how he came up as a little Chicago kid that wanted to do something with his self.
William Lowe
May 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This was a good book for any basketball fan. It really gives an inside look at the 90-91 Bulls team that won their first title. I thought it was well written and interesting seeing how the team dynamic changed through the season and into the playoffs.
Aug 01, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2017
Not nearly as fun as I had hoped. Jordan was selfish and everybody disliked him, but he shared the ball in the playoffs. Craig Hodges was a glue guy.
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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.” 3 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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