The Greatest Sports Books

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Books about fantastic athletes, teams, or sports eras are an incredibly fascinating read. To be a professional athlete or be in the sports industry you need a certain mentality, a mentality that can be translated into everyday life. Through the multitude of books, ranging from basketball players to head coaches you can be taught a new way of thinking and achieving your dreams.

The Jordan Rules

The Jordan Rules is a 1991 book about the turbulent Chicago Bulls’ 1990-1991 championship season. The 1990-1991 season was the first-ever season the Bulls had won an NBA Finals and the team was led by arguably the greatest player of all time, Michael Jordan.

Though at first glance it may seem this book is only for basketball fans, but truthfully, it’s for anyone who wants to get into the mind of one of the greatest athletes. The book, at the time of release, was ridiculed by the Bulls, fans, and Jordan himself, it portrayed an unflattering depiction of Jordan. The real Jordan, the man behind the persona. Stories of Jordan bullying teammates in order to make them play their best were leaked and this was not the Jordan fans had learned to love. Sam Smith, the author of Jordan Rules, defended the book by proclaiming “This book is about basketball and what happens within a team and a league that draws the attention of millions. It’s an attempt to allow people to look behind those closed curtains of sport. And find what? Human beings with everyday emotions trying to do their highly visible jobs as well as they can and confront the obstacles of their relationships and their very lucrative, very public profession”.

It’s a fantastic read and will give you an even deeper behind-the-scenes look at the Chicago Bulls and an even greater understanding of the 2020 documentary The Last Dance.

Eleven Rings: The Soul of Success

This is the story of a preacher’s son from North Dakota who grew up to be one of the most successful NBA head coaches in history. The man goes by the name of Phil Jackson, he won 11 championship rings, 6 with the Chicago Bulls, and 5 with the Los Angeles Lakers (two of the biggest franchises in the NBA).

Nicknamed the ‘Zen Master’, Jackson merged his knowledge for humanistic psychology, zen meditation, and Native American philosophy with training and leading a basketball team. This approach taught the team freedom, authenticity, and teamwork skills which is the major reason for his huge success as a basketball coach.

Jackson, a former NBA player himself, also imprinted his coaching stardom into some of the greatest players known to the basketball world such as Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant. He taught Jordan to be less selfish and transformed Bryant from a rebellious teen to a mature leader of a championship team.

When The Game Was Ours

Larry Bird versus Magic Johnson was one of the greatest sporting rivalries of the eighties. The rivalry symbolised the divide between the west coast versus east coast, Lakers versus Celtics, white America versus black America, and Hollywood versus Blue Collar. This rivalry saved the NBA from bankruptcy and brought the beautiful game of basketball to the mainstream. In this book, you will get an in-depth analysis of the legendary rivalry between two basketball Hall of Famers. The two rivals on the court became friends off the court after their careers. It’s a fantastic book and one that is worth the read especially for those who grew up knowing the impact Magic Johnson and Larry Bird had on the game of basketball.

 

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Editor 2020/21 and a History student with a Britney Spears addiction.

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