Sam Smith got to know a lot of details about the Chicago Bulls and Michael Jordan in the 90s. He wrote a book about His Airness called 'The Jordan Rules', but the book wasn't well-received by the Chicago Bulls legend. Smith recently was interviewed on The HoopsHype Podcast with Alex Kennedy, where he revealed some details about his relationship with the GOAT.
Jordan was a fierce competitor and he showed all of that during the time he spent with Smith, who recalled several anecdotes of Jordan being mean to his teammates, reaching incredible levels some times. He described how Jordan treated some of his teammates, punching them and even asking staff not to feeding them because they had bad games.
A lot of the players had suffered under his wrath, so they were glad to see him on the defensive a little bit. So it really wasn’t a problem for me around the team at all. And Jordan was great. We didn’t have the relationship that we had previously, but he treated me professionally. I was still around, covering the team, so I asked him questions in all of the press conferences and he’d answer me, just as he’d answer anyone else. You would never know he was upset. And he was upset. I don’t believe he was upset necessarily because he read the book – I doubt he ever read the book – but he was upset [because he heard] things that were pulled out of context sometimes or as standalone things. “You punched out Will Purdue…” and, “You made Dennis Hopson cry…” and, “You took Horace Grant’s food on the plane because you told the stewardess that he didn’t play well enough, so he didn’t deserve to eat…” You know, stuff like that, which are sort of funny in a lot of respects still. (laughs) He was mad and I understand because he was getting asked about it all the time – just as you saw in the documentary, after a while, he was frustrated and mad when he was asked about the gambling all the time. Everywhere he went, it was basically, “Are you throwing games?” One thing piling on the next, I understand his reaction to it.
Jordan is arguably the most competitive athlete of all time and he always tried to get his teammates to give the best they had. Well, some of them couldn't perform as Michael expected and he made them pay for it. That's what made him one of the most honored players in the NBA and the greatest of all time.
Those were his methods and they seemingly worked. He won six championships in Chicago.