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Sacred Hoops: Spiritual Lessons of a Hardwood Warrior Paperback – October 17, 2006

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

An inside look at the higher wisdom of teamwork from Chicago Bulls' head coach Phil Jackson. At the heart of the book is Jackson's philosophy of mindful basketball -- and his lifelong quest to bring enlightenment to the competitive world of professional sports, beginning with a focus on selfless team play rather than "winning through intimidation". Sacred Hoops is not just for sports fans, but for anyone interested in the potential of the human spirit. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Considered a maverick for his unorthodox coaching methods, Jackson demonstrates how he adapts the precepts of Zen Buddhism, the ways of the Lakota Sioux, and other alternative styles to the task of coaching the National Basketball Association's Chicago Bulls. They range from group meditation sessions, to hanging Lakota warrior items on the locker room shelf, to splicing segments of the movie Wizard of Oz into game films to make a point. Perhaps of greater interest to fans are his reactions to the return of Michael Jordan, following Jordan's retirement, and his take on an incident in which one of his players refused to reenter a playoff game during its final moments. Chicago Bulls fans, in particular, should take interest in this inside view. For regional and large public libraries.
William H. Hoffman, Ft. Myers-Lee Cty. P.L., Fla.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Hachette Books; Reissue edition (October 17, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401308813
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401308810
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (146 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #43,006 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

61 of 67 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 14, 1997
Format: Hardcover
I picked up this book in an airport bookstore only because I love basketball and I have been a Michael Jordan fan since he was in high school. I LOVED it. Sacred Hoops helped me really understand and appreciate why the Bull's, and other teams that build on a similar philosophy, have a special magic. It also helped me see how this philosophy can be used to improve and enhance any endeavor that requires teamwork. I will be reading this book again to be reinspired. I loaned the book to my 75-year old mother. She bought additional copies to give to friends and bought it for the local library. Then she lent it to my 15-year old niece, who plays high school hoops. My niece commented that her coach must have read the book half-way through last season because he suddenly changed his coaching style to be similar to Jackson's. My niece passed it on to her mother, a mother of 4 with a black belt in karate. Her mother immediately went out and bought two books Jackson recommends, commenting that she imagined anything he recommended would be worth reading. When the book returned to me, my husband (who is, no kidding, a rocket scientist) decided to read it to see what all the fuss was about. He has now passed it on to an Italian colleague who says, wow this is good. Never have a seen such a wide range of people, in interests and ages, respond so strongly and positively to a book. This is a book that can enhance your life, no matter what you do
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35 of 38 people found the following review helpful By David on December 10, 2000
Format: Paperback
I am not now, nor have I ever been, a fan of basketball. But it is at least a sport that I can appreciate, which is more than I can say for American football. Nevertheless, this book is not really about basketball-it's about spirituality and selflessness through basketball. The author is Phil Jackson, formerly of the New York Knicks (and colleague of Bill Bradley) and, later, coach of the Chicago Bulls - the only coach in NBA history to pull of twin "three-peats" - three consecutive NBA Championships, not once but twice. Under Jackson's guidance and the leadership of Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Bill Cartwright, and others, the Bulls became the best basketball team in the world.
But Jackson is not focused solely on success for the sake of success. He recounts his fundamentalist upbringing, his forays into Zen Buddhism and Lakota spirituality, and his efforts to bring ideas of oneness and attunement and selfless play into an NBA dominated by ego, money, cynicism, and media hype. He describes the esoteric "triangle offense" that was based on those philosophical principles.
I was very impressed by this book. It takes many of the principles I've learned in other places and applies it directly to something that I would normally not think of as spiritual. Moreover, Jackson and his Bulls are a powerful and very prevalent example of how spiritual principles can be applied in the real world and made into a success.
Plus, there's a foreword by ex-Senator and ex-Knick Bill Bradley, and numerous stories about Jackson playing with the Knicks and coaching basketball greats. Though I'm not a basketball fan, the magnetism of personalities still fascinates me, and these personal anecdotes only add depth to the lessons Jackson conveys.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Carly Gleason on April 21, 2010
Format: Paperback
I have always been a huge fan of basketball, especially the Chicago Bulls. Being from Chicago I have always been a fan and the highlights and stories I've seen are just amazing. I am also a big fan of Phil Jackson, so I decided to read the book he wrote when he was a coach for the Bulls, "Sacred Hoops". Once I started; I just couldn't stop until I got to the end. "Sacred Hoops" is more than just a book about basketball, it's a book about life lessons that Phil Jackson has learned during the years he spent coaching the Bulls.

Although there are a lot of great spiritual lessons in the book anyone who reads it cannot help but be intrigued about the basketball part. Phil Jackson was a part of the Chicago Bulls organization while it was going through one of the greatest runs in all of NBA basketball. Between the years of 1990 and 1993, the Bulls won three straight NBA championship titles, making their mark in the basketball world forever. As many people know, this was the time that Michael Jordan was on the team and helped carry the team to the championship. The summer after the last championship, Jordan announced his retirement from the basketball world and shocked everyone. One year later, Jordan decided to come back to the league and from 1996 to1998 the bulls made a run for another 3-peat. Some argue that the Bulls became the best team ever in basketball. But, the team was nothing without a great coach.

Although winning was very important to Phil Jackson, he knew there were a lot more important things too. He took a lot of the knowledge he from his studies of different religions such as Buddhism, and incorporated them into the way he coached his teams.
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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Michael Dickens on January 19, 1999
Format: Paperback
In lieu of the recent NBA lockout and the subsequent retirement of its premier star attraction, Michael Jordan, reading Sacred Hoops, brilliantly written by former Bulls' coach Phil Jackson, provides a very refreshing and thought-provoking look into the money-driven and often soulessness world of professional basketball. The book takes a wonderful look into the mind of Jackson, raised by Pentacostal parents in Montana, who later became enlightened by Zen and Native American principles during his playing career with the New York Knicks and early coaching stints in Albany, N.Y. and Puerto Rico. Jackson's higher wisdom of teamwork - his philosophy of preaching the expression of the power of mindfulness and compassion in action - became a paradigm for his success in guiding the Bulls to six NBA championships in the 1990s (the paperback edition chronicles through the 1995-96 season). The book also serves as an insightful memoir full of stories about Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Toni Kukoc and Dennis Rodman. For devotees of Jordan, Sacred Hoops serves as a nice complement to other books written about him and shows how Jackson instilled in Jordan - and his teammates - the ability to act with a clear mind and stay calmly focused at all times; how he changed the Bulls into a team that served the "we" instead of "me". Sacred Hoops is an inspiring book - one which you won't want to put down.
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