Since Jordan entered the league in , the sports industry was flipped on its head, with much more focus being put towards entertainment and marketing. Bill Russell wrote this book to share the story of his close relationship with Red Auerbach; the cigar-loving coach, GM, and president who played a big role in the Boston Celtics dynasty for over 50 years. In the 10 seasons between and , Bill and Red dominated the NBA winning nine out of ten championships. They quickly became must-watch TV as they won 5 championships between and This book will share details of the rivalries they faced as well as all the off-court drama.
Despite the difficult topic, Oliver does a great job making complex statistics easy to understand for even a casual basketball fan. They were led by Oscar Robertson.
They had two very different styles of play. Wilt dominated with his strength and scoring, while Russell led his team with unselfishness and defense. An entertaining read about an important era. This book will open your eyes to how corrupt and dangerous the current youth basketball system is.
The author, George Dohrmann, tells the story of a team from 4th grade to high school. An interesting book that tells the story the Shanxi Brave Dragons, a struggling basketball team in China. A fun story that shows you how the differences in culture and the language barrier made this transition difficult. The author of the book, Mark Titus, was a walk-on for Ohio State and amazingly holds the school record for the most career wins.
An incredible feat considering he scored a grand total of 9 points in four seasons.
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A legitimate autobiography by one of the greatest NBA players of all time. This book will share that journey, with Stockton humbly acknowledging those who helped him along the way. He was a terrific shooter, but his trash-talking abilities were just as strong. This entertaining book is a great read for those who want to get into the head of an NBA player and learn more about the day-to-day grind that they go through.
Caron Butler had one of the most unique paths to the NBA. Growing up in Racine, Wisconsin, Butler was immediately surrounded by gang culture and got involved at a young age. This inspiring book explains how he was able to escape that world through basketball and hard work. Jay Wright has been the head coach of Villanova University for nearly 20 years and is one of the most respected coaches in the game. This book is based on their - season, which is the year they won their first National Championship trophy.
Coach Boeheim has been part of the Syracuse basketball since when he first stepped on the court as a freshman player. This book shares his entire history there. He spent 10 years as an assistant at UNC, 15 years as head coach of the Kansas Jayhawks, and then returned to his alma mater in While not basketball-specific, I wanted to include at least one book from Jon Gordon to add to my list of must-read basketball books before you die.
A great read for anyone who wants to improve or lead.
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Playing with many all-time greats like Willis Reed, Walt Frazier, and Dave DeBusscere, he helped lead the Knicks to 2 championships in his ten-year career. While this may sound like a dream to many, there are many difficulties that come with being an NBA player, such as: traveling all over the country, playing several times per week, and the loneliness that comes with being away from friends and family.
This book gives a great perspective on the day-to-day life of a professional athlete. His two incredibly tall parents were encouraged by Chinese officials to start a family, with the hope of creating a generation of talented basketball players. Despite not playing basketball past high school, Idan Ravin became one of the most sought after basketball trainers in the world.
Celtic Wisdom: Reference to Go: 36 Inspirational Legends (Spiritual Journeys)
This book discusses his journey. Ravin gets specific with how he helped certain athletes, and gives us insight into how he connects with and motivates the players he works with. At the time this book was published, Iguodala was the sixth man on the Golden State Warriors. Much of the book is dedicated to things he believes need to change in the college and NBA system. Not paying players in college, his thoughts on the media, and the bias of referees. Williams was the 2nd pick in the NBA draft. After three seasons at Duke and only one season with the Chicago Bulls, Williams had a motorcycle accident that resulted in permanent leg damage and ended his promising NBA career.
This is a heartbreaking autobiography about a career that was cut short and the transformation he made following the crash. Of the three books on this list about Larry Bird, this is the least well known. It also includes some reflection on his time as a player, the medical problems that forced him to retire, and what forced him to leave Boston and go to Indiana.
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In , Coach Don Meyer - who won games as a college head coach - had an unfortunate car accident that resulted in an amputated left leg. This is the story of how that accident, along with a cancer diagnosis, changed his view on life. An autobiography by one of the most unforgettable coaches in college basketball. This is the story of how Majerus grew up in Sheboygan and then climbed the ranks to the head coach of Utah University. On March 2nd, , Wilt Chamberlain achieved what many thought was impossible. He scored points in a professional basketball game.
A fascinating look at an era that had barely any coverage at the time. This book captures the story of both franchises and explains how West played his part in building them both into championship teams. But multiple injuries and a dash of bad luck resulted in a second-round exit in the playoffs.
These turned out to be arguably the most difficult seasons of his career. The problems he had with teammates and the front office, and the difficulties he had trying to replicate the success he had in the past.
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Charles Barkley has never been one to shy away from a controversial discussion. This book shares his opinions on a broad range of topics. As always, his opinionated and brutally honest voice come through which makes for an entertaining read. Jalen Rose has a very interesting story. They both talk about their early days in coaching, basketball philosophies, and more. But his life had many difficulties, too. He was abused by his father, lost his brother at a young age, which resulted in him suffering from depression for most of his life. This book tells his story. In this true story, we learn how each player worked hard to create a better life for themselves through hard work and dedication to basketball.
On March 28, , Duke and Kentucky matched up in a contest that would go down as one of the greatest games in college basketball history. In this book, the author tells the story of how both teams reached this point. With Coach K building the Duke program, and Pitino resurrecting Kentucky from a major recruiting scandal only a few years before.
This book follows the Portland Trail Blazers through the - season. The league is going through many changes at this time, and the author uses this Blazers season to examine difficulties the NBA experienced in earlier years. Difficult to describe, but one of the best-written basketball books of all time. Based on many interviews with people who were involved, this book gives you the complete history of the ABA.
In this book, the author spends 3 years figuring out why. He gets locker room access to a professional team, plays pick-up basketball with the locals, and even stars in a local TV show. In this book, the author makes that case that this is the most important basketball game of all time. This book will take you inside the mind of Pat Summitt through the Tennessee Lady Vols undefeated season of - On their quest to complete the three-peat, the pressure and emotions are high for this team with a mix of freshmen and established players.
This book has something for everyone. While looking back on his time playing and coaching, Phil Jackson shares many thoughts on self-improvement, leadership, and spirituality. My favorite section of the book was learning how he motivates players by treating them as individuals. Tim Grover has worked personally with many of the best basketball players of all time. This list includes Jordan, Kobe, Wade, and Barkley. Grover shares what it takes for players to achieve the level of greatness these players have accomplished.
A lot of motivational advice and his thoughts on having the right mindset. A powerful autobiography about a boy who had a difficult life before adulthood. Both his father and coach were unreasonably cruel, and basketball was his outlet.
The story follows his senior year as the point guard on the Citadel basketball team. The author shares the lessons one can learn from tough times, and how losing can prepare you for the rest of life more than winning ever could. Throughout this book, Knight makes the argument that negative thinking can produce even better results than positive thinking. He believes too many people fall into a false sense of security with positive thinking, and that most of us would be much better off preparing and planning for the worst.
Despite the criticism of many of his past choices, this book does share an interesting perspective that many coaches should spend time thinking about. Calipari has helped build the University of Kentucky into one of the best programs in college basketball. Learn his process of turning high school superstars into productive members of an elite college team. A great book on identifying talent, recruiting, and building a team.
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