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More than a Game Paperback – March 1, 2002

4.4 out of 5 stars 36 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

At first glance, this book is a strained synthesis. During the first half, storied NBA coach Jackson and CBA coach-turned-writer Rosen alternate chapters. Each details his upbringing, life in basketball and friendship with the other. Even though Jackson is the star here, he gives little attention to his years with the Bulls (covered in his earlier book Sacred Hoops). Later in the book, Jackson recounts, game by game, his championship first season with the previously undisciplined Lakers. It seems a somewhat perfunctory treatment of a surprising season, until the book's true (and higher) purpose slowly becomes clear: it is a magnificent tribute to Tex Winter's triangle offense, the perfect scheme. In describing their attempts to implement the triangle in the CBA, the authors illustrate its effectiveness, even its necessity. Jackson and Rosen depict the Lakers learning to make the offense work, finally suggesting that the triangle could work for any team that Michael Jordan wasn't the only reason Chicago won six rings under Jackson. And through it all, they show that the only thing standing in the way of many teams adopting the triangle, just as many NFL teams have taken up the West Coast offense, is player ego. For the heart of the scheme is the individual's sacrifice of status and spotlight for the greater success of the team. The technical details in this wonderful book will give any fan a better appreciation of the game.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Library Journal

Jackson is becoming a prolific chronicler of his life in basketball. Maverick (1975), also written with Rosen (Scandals of '51), covered his offbeat life as a player with the two-time champion New York Knicks, while Sacred Hoops (1999) focused on how he used his Triangle offense and personal "Zen Christian" beliefs in coaching the Chicago Bulls to six NBA championships during the 1990s. This latest work brings Jackson's journey two years forward as he brings the Triangle and his hardwood soul-searching to Los Angeles, leading the Lakers to yet another championship. Chapters alternate between Jackson and Rosen as the two trade tales and insights. The primary voice is Jackson's, however, and the major interest to most readers will be his behind-the-scenes account of the Lakers' successful season and the tenuous teaming of stars Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant. An unusual amalgam of biography, spiritualism, basketball technique, and journalism, this will be of strong interest for all basketball collections. John Maxymuk, Rutgers Univ. Lib., Camden, NJ
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Touchstone; Reprint edition (March 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743444116
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743444118
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.9 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #828,225 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This is a good book to read, but I wouldn't consider it a complete autobiography of Phil Jackson. This book primarily covers the 1999-2000 season where Phil coached the Lakers to their first title since '88. There is very little about his tenure with the Bulls which is why I say that Bulls fans will be disappointed when they read it. And then it switches over from Charley Rosen writing to Phil writing and back and forth. On the positive for Lakers fans, Phil goes into great detail on how he brought a dysfunctional Laker team together and took them to the promised land.
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Format: Hardcover
Wow. I just finished reading "More Than A Game" and loved every damn page of it. I initially bought this book simply because I am a huge Jackson fan, but I ended up enjoying Charley Rosen's chapters just as much. I will definitely be reading more of his work in the future as a result of reading this book. This is an insightful, funny book that is very difficult to put down.
Taking a look at their love for the game of basketball, Jackson and Rosen do an excellent job of showing the importance of finding beauty, selflessness, and transcendence in any job that one may have. They are very candid in their writing, which I appreciated as a reader. The book also contains a glossary and charts which explain the different plays and systems they describe in the book - including Tex Winter's triangle offense. For someone who has never coached a team, these made all the difference in the world to me as I read the book.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone. Period. This book is about so much more than basketball, which I suppose is what makes the title so fitting.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
***MET PHIL JACKSON IN CHICAGO & MET MICHAEL JORDON ON THE SAME NIGHT***MY HEART WAS BEATING SO FAST, I COULD BARELY BREATHE***IT WAS MORE THAN A GAME THAT NIGHT***IT WAS A FANTASY NIGHT***IT WAS ON MY DAUGHTER'S LIST OF THINGS SHE WANTED TO DO BEFORE SHE DIED WAS TO SEE THE CHICAGO BULLS PLAY***WE HAD NO IDEA WERE GOING TO HAVE 4th ROW SEATS & BE ABLE TO READ DENNIS RODMAN'S TATOOS***AFTER THE GAME, WE GOT TO THEIR SWEATY HANDS& GET THEIR AUTOGRAPHS****(YES, THEY BEAT WASHINGTON)***PHIL JACKSON IS ONE MAN WHO WAS BORN TO BE A COACH****
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
FANTASTIC BOOK - the story of LIFE and COACHING WAY of PHIL JACKSON and His best FRIEND Charley ROSEN. This is a book of FRIENDSHIP, of LOVE addressed to BASKETBALL, this is a very credible source of information concerned NBA and profi Basketball, this is a book of maturity, professionalism a way life of PHIL JACKSON maybe the most inspiring COACH in a history of SPORT (not only Basketball). I am former basketball player (academic level) and coach of juniors team, this book is a great inspiration in my own way of coaching . THANKS a lot PHIL & CHARLEY
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The book meanders around several themes - Phil's youth in the game, the Triangle Offense, Phil's coaching career prior to the Bulls, his Lakers first coaching season, and Charley's experiences throughout. While these are each interesting topics, the format of alternating authors each chapter, as well as a timeline that seem to jump around (because the Bulls years are skipped and it only hits one year with the Lakers), destroyed much of the cohesiveness. It is somewhat repetitive to the history as relayed in Sacred Hoops but not quite a sequel. The best parts of this one were Phil's candor throughout and the extensive information on the Triangle offense.
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Format: Paperback
More than a Game is one of those books that is entertaining and interesting, but only applies to a certain type of people. Coaches and basketball enthusiasts will enjoy this book, but you should pass if you don't particularly like the sport of basketball. Phil Jackson, former coach of the Los Angeles Lakers and Chicago Bulls, gives insight into the strategic world of basketball, from the past to the present. Charlie Rosen, a former college player, coauthors the book. However, More than a Game is focused more on Phil Jackson. The book shows the background of two talented, intelligent basketball players from different regions-- Charlie from the city, and Phil from the country. They mesh perfectly as a dynamic duo. This book also gives insight to the formation of the Triangle offense, something that has perplexed the basketball audience for years. This is a great read for anyone who followed the Chicago Bulls and/or Los Angeles Lakers championship years. The glossary and play diagrams at the end of the book are helpful and descriptive. A minor basketball fan could understand the book, but only a coach or basketball intellectual could truly enjoy it. More than a Game is a good book if you enjoy basketball and admire the genius of Phil Jackson, but like I said, it's not for everyone.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I enjoy basketball but my knowledge of the players and game is moderate. If I were a basketball fanatic or a die hard Lakers fan, I'd probably give this book five stars. But for me, it was just too detailed about players and events, and didn't hold my interest. I found Roland Lazenby's Mindgames much more readable and entertaining, even though I got tired of reading about the conflicts Bulls' VP Jerry Krause had with Jackson, Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen (scattered throughout 100 pages of the 400 page book). Lazerby's book is an unofficial biography of Jackson which covers his years in Chicago and his first year with LA. I very much enjoyed reading Jackson's Sacred Hoops, which looks at his philosophy of coaching.
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