Phil Jackson says Sam Smith’s controversial book helped the Bulls win multiple championships – NBA News
Sam Smith is one of the best reporters and journalists to cover the NBA, making a name for himself in the league by covering the Chicago Bulls during the Michael Jordan era.
Smith is set to receive the 2012 Curt Gowdy Media Award from the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame next week for his services to the NBA and the field of reporting. The writer made a career out of covering the Chicago Bulls, first with the Chicago Tribune and then for the Bulls official website.
At a time when the internet was not around and information was not available so freely, Smith was the go to guy for everything related to the Bulls. However, fans remember him more for a certain book that he wrote rather than any of his work with the Bulls or in the general field of reporting. That book was titled “The Jordan Rules”.
The book was controversial to say the least, and talked about Michael Jordan in detail. It was the first major coverage Jordan had received at that time, as he was not a 6 time MVP by then. The book was released after the Bulls won their first of six NBA titles with Jordan, and pulled the curtains on him as a team-mate and member of the Bulls organization. There were a lot of things said in the book that did not portray Jordan as a good guy.
However, Bulls head coach at that time, the legendary Phil Jackson, who led the Bulls to six NBA titles, says that the book actually helped the Bulls win more NBA titles.
Speaking to Bulls.com regarding the book and Sam Smith, Jackson said:
“I knew it was going to be controversial and Sam had kind of warned me. It was an inside look at the team and about the dynamics and the characteristics of our leader, Michael Jordan. Not everybody was going to be happy with it, I knew that,” said Jackson.
Jackson believes that the book played a role in Jordan re-assessing his attitude towards his team-mates and his behaviour off the court and in the locker room.
Jordan’s lack of trust on his team-mates might have led to the Bulls not becoming the dynasty they eventually did, and Jackson feels the book had a big role to play in Jordan’s attitude adjustment.
“There were a lot of things that contributed to that. I think one of them was Michael playing in a system in which he had to form-fit himself into a group. He had to start trusting his teammates, which came from the appreciation of their individual skills and abilities,” added Jackson.
Jackson’s comments shed more light on the power struggle and team culture that is not visible to the fans, but is very important in the building of championship teams.