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Second Coming: Strange Odyssey of Michael Jordan - From Courtside to Home Plate and Back Again [Hardcover]

Sam Smith
2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

21 Mar 1996
The story of Jordan's departure from and return to the Chicago Bulls describes his anguish over his father's death and his attempts to succeed in major league baseball.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins,Australia (21 Mar 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060175028
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060175023
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 16.3 x 3.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,591,227 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Tabloid trash disguised as sports journalism 7 Jan 1997
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
There is a type of sports fan endemic to Chicago: guys whose formative years spanned decades of losing seasons, guys who never learned the ups of fandom, just the downs, until the only joy they could take from professional sports was the cynic's pleasure of having their low expectations fulfilled. Guys, I admit it, like me. When a winner does finally appear in a city like Chicago, these fans react like albino fish brought up into the sun from the lightless depths, blinking uncomprehendingly: they know something is happening, but nothing in their experience tellsthem how to react. The good news is that most of us recover from the shock after a year or two, and that most of us don't become professional sportswriters. Then again, there's Sam Smith.

Smith's "Second Coming" purports to be a hard-nosed examination of Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls during Jordan's "retirement" from the NBA following the death of his father, Jordan's travails as a minor-league baseball player and subsequent return to basketball, with (at first) less-than spectacular results. A sequel to "The Jordan Rules", Smith's first uncensored-behind-the-scenes look at the Bulls during their early-'90's title runs, this book is both less shocking -- you only have to open any week's sports pages to realize that today's pro atheletes are not choirboys -- and more mean-spirited than its predecessor.
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Amazon.com: 3.8 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Tabloid trash disguised as sports journalism 7 Jan 1997
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
There is a type of sports fan endemic to Chicago: guys whose formative years spanned decades of losing seasons, guys who never learned the ups of fandom, just the downs, until the only joy they could take from professional sports was the cynic's pleasure of having their low expectations fulfilled. Guys, I admit it, like me. When a winner does finally appear in a city like Chicago, these fans react like albino fish brought up into the sun from the lightless depths, blinking uncomprehendingly: they know something is happening, but nothing in their experience tellsthem how to react. The good news is that most of us recover from the shock after a year or two, and that most of us don't become professional sportswriters. Then again, there's Sam Smith.

Smith's "Second Coming" purports to be a hard-nosed examination of Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls during Jordan's "retirement" from the NBA following the death of his father, Jordan's travails as a minor-league baseball player and subsequent return to basketball, with (at first) less-than spectacular results. A sequel to "The Jordan Rules", Smith's first uncensored-behind-the-scenes look at the Bulls during their early-'90's title runs, this book is both less shocking -- you only have to open any week's sports pages to realize that today's pro atheletes are not choirboys -- and more mean-spirited than its predecessor.

If Sam Smith were an NBA player, he'd be Bill Laimbeer: moderately talented, but cursed with a congenital inability to pass up a cheap shot (Smith takes gratuitous aim at everyone from the Bulls' TV announcers to Madonna) and the obnoxious habit of feigning bafflement that anyone would take offense (Smith is shocked, *shocked* that Jordan and others had less-than positive reactions to "The Jordan Rules").

There's no doubt that many aspects of professional sports are open to criticism, and Michael Jordan is no exception. But "Second Coming" provides little criticism and lots of tabloid-style dirt-dishing. Smith reports the facts of Jordan's gambling sprees (by far the most legitimate fan concern covered), but then sabotages his own credibility by mentioning every scurrilous rumor, most of them proven to be false, that followed those events and the shooting of James Jordan. I held on as Smith hammered away at his theme -- that Jordan was too old, too selfish, and too poor a leader for his comeback to be successful -- waiting for the "bonus chapter" (added to the paperback edition) on the Bulls' historic '95-'96 season. How would Smith explain his remarkable lack of predictive skills? He wouldn't, preferring instead to concentrate on the antics of Dennis Rodman.

If you want to know more about the dark side of professional sports, and maybe even do something about it, read Mike Lupica's scorching fan manifesto "Mad as Hell". If you want to read about Jordan and the Bulls, buy Bob Greene's sublime "Hang Time" and its sequel "Rebound". Lupica may be a bit overinflated and Greene a little too uncritical of his subject, but at least neither of them have forgotten the reasons why we started watching the game in the first place
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Michael Jordan book review 16 Dec 1999
By Todd Holland - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
"Second Coming: The Strange Odyssey of Michael Jordan - from Courtside to Home Plate and Back Again," by Sam Smith, is a biogarphy about Michael Jordan. It starts out a little before he won his first NBA championship with the Chicago Bulls. It tells about the seasons leading up to his retirement in October of 1993. Through that time, the author talks about the next two seasons. It talks about Jordans' personality at the time, and some of the problems he was having to deal with. It profiles Jordans' gambling troubles and the troubles he was having with the media. This book is similar to the book "Tiger Woods: The Makings of a Champion." These two books are very similar because of their genre. They are both biographies about famous sports stars. The only difference between the two is that the Tiger Woods book talks more about his childhood than the Michael Jordan book does. I thought that this book was very good. I liked it because I really liked the structure of it. I thought that it was really easy to read because it goes in a logical order. I think that since it has good order, this serves as a good model for writing. There really is not much imagery in the book because it is a biography. I thought that this book was very good because it tells a lot of good stuff about Michael Jordan's professional career. I think that one thing that this book lacked was information on his personal life. I think that I could have realated better to the story had there been more personal info on him. I think that anybody who likes to follow Michael Jordan would enjoy this book very much. Overall I liked this book a lot and I hope to read more books by this author.
5.0 out of 5 stars Service 18 Oct 2012
By deej - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I have been searching everywhere for this book, amazed and delighted now that i can read it, thankyou so much for the great service and affordable prices.
0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very revealing book 11 Jan 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I agree with back and forth. People who slam the book are biased. MJ has a good and bad side, and the people who whine are probably his fans or have shares in his company. The problem is players from different eras can't be compared. How do you compare Oscar Robertson to Earvin Johnson? You can't...but you can compare them relative to the players in their era, to players they played against, and compare their relative greatness to the relative greatness to the players from other eras. Compare Michael to others relative to his contribution of others...don't just compare scoring, or Dominique Wilkins would be surely better than Bill Russell...only a misinformed or ignorant NBA basketball fan would think something as preposterous as that. Kudos for Sam Smith and taking off the kid gloves. If the book is all trash journalism, why didn't Michael sue for slander or defamation of character? There must be some truth to it.
3 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars back and forth 23 April 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I have mixed feelings about Michael Jordan. On the one hand, he is a great athlete. I respect his work ethic. He has turned in a number of great performances and is no doubt one of the greatest to have ever played the game of basketball.
There is a flipside. Michael Jordan got all kinds of special treatment while he was in the NBA. He was the first player I noticed who was granted all kinds of trips to the charity stripe because of unbelievably, ticky tack calls. He scored at least ten points a game at the free throw line from bogus calls. It was great when there was a picture session for 'greats of the game' with Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, and Michael Jordan. Magic told Larry not to stand too close to Michael or they might call a foul. In front of reporters and television viewers, that was a classic comment by Magic. I believe Mike got 99% of all calls in his favor because he was such a cash cow for the NBA. Dominique Wilkins was robbed of a slam dunk championship when Mike scored a perfect 50 doing the same dunk Dr. J did years before. I doubt Dr. J ever received a perfect 50 for it. Dominique's dunk was much more impressive, and he received a 49.5. Please. Mike got in a fight with Reggie Miller, and only Miller got suspended at first. Only after there was an outcry did Mike get suspended. How are Mike's punches different? Mike elbowed Kevin Johnson to the ground for all to see, and Kevin was called for blocking!
I am not too impressed that the bulls beat the lakers in the NBA finals. Magic was double teamed every game every minute he was in. On top of that, James Worthy and Byron Scott were injured. Magic and Larry never won three championships in a row because the competition, teams, and players in the 80s were much better than the nineties. Luc Longley, Will Perdue, Bill Cartwright, or Bill Wennington stopping Kareem? Ha!
Sport Magazine recently had a piece on the ten greatest moments and ten greatest players ever in the NBA. Mike was ranked number one all time player. Kudos to Mike for mentioning in 'For the love of the game' that to pick a "greatest ever" is impossible because of all the different eras and evolutions of basketball. The nineties bulls were given three of the ten greatest moments in NBA history. This is just more Mike bias. Give me a break. There are hundreds of classic and amazing moments in NBA history. One of the moments picked was Mike beating the Jazz in the final minutes of his last game. He put his hand on Bryon Russel's backside and shoved him out of the way. Then Mike made the game winnig shot. All eyes were on Mike, but the ref did not make the obvious call.
There is also Mike's arrogance. According to him, Wilt Chamberlain was a fluke eventhough Wilt was a great all around player. He made a comment about Magic and Larry reaching a 'certain level of greatness' and that the two were not good on defense. What? Are we talking about the same Larry Bird? Shaquille Oneal is also much better and much improved than Mike gives him credit for. Shaq has turned into a solid defender, passer, and he works hard at both ends of the floor.
Mike's corporate poster boy behavior is laughable. He did ads for AT&T and then MCI. The Wayans family is also split between the two companies. Mike talked about the enviroment in Rayovac ads and then pitches hot dogs? Mike is not the only athlete who will pitch anything and everything to make millions. I wonder if Mike has checked into Nike's labor practices.
Players like Mike and Charles Barkley soured me on the NBA. Charles played like a thug and got away with it because he was a star. Plus, Charles insisted on wearing number 34 at Philadelphia eventhough it was retired for NBA great Billy Cunningham. The star treatment and inflated egos has grown old, and that has turned a lot of people off to sports. I miss the Lakers and Celtics match ups of the 1980s.
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