Top 10 Best Books to Read in Basketball - August 2021

Here are our top ten recommendations if you are looking for the best books to read in Basketball. We have made sure our list is diverse to cater to the interests of different types of readers.

1. Relentless: From Good to Great to Unstoppable


Top 10 Best Books to Read in Basketball - August 2021

An all-new production of the phenomenal best seller, now featuring exclusive new conversations with the authors! For more than two decades, legendary trainer Tim Grover has taken the greats - Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade, and hundreds of relentless competitors in sports, business, and every walk of life - and made them greater. Now, for the first time ever, he reveals what it takes to achieve total mental and physical dominance, showing you how to be relentless and achieve whatever you desire. Direct, blunt, and brutally honest, Grover breaks down what it takes to be unstoppable: you keep going when everyone else is giving up, you thrive under pressure, you never let your emotions make you weak. In “The Relentless 13”, he details the essential traits shared by the most intense competitors and achievers in sports, business, and all walks of life. Relentless shows you how to trust your instincts and get in the Zone; how to control and adapt to any situation; how to find your opponent’s weakness and attack.  Grover gives you the same advice he gives his world-class clients - “don’t think” - and shows you that anything is possible. Packed with previously untold stories and unparalleled insight into the psyches of the most successful and accomplished athletes of our time, Relentless shows you how even the best get better...and how you can too.

  • Author: Tim S. Grover
  • Genre: Business & Money, Business Culture, Motivation & Self-Improvement

                 

2. The Mamba Mentality: How I Play


Top 10 Best Books to Read in Basketball - August 2021

The Mamba Mentality: How I Play is Kobe Bryant’s personal perspective of his life and career on the basketball court and his exceptional, insightful style of playing the game―a fitting legacy from the late Los Angeles Laker superstar. In the wake of his retirement from professional basketball, Kobe “The Black Mamba” Bryant decided to share his vast knowledge and understanding of the game to take readers on an unprecedented journey to the core of the legendary “Mamba mentality.” Citing an obligation and an opportunity to teach young players, hardcore fans, and devoted students of the game how to play it “the right way,” The Mamba Mentality takes us inside the mind of one of the most intelligent, analytical, and creative basketball players ever. In his own words, Bryant reveals his famously detailed approach and the steps he took to prepare mentally and physically to not just succeed at the game, but to excel. Readers will learn how Bryant studied an opponent, how he channeled his passion for the game, how he played through injuries. They’ll also get fascinating granular detail as he breaks down specific plays and match-ups from throughout his career. Bryant’s detailed accounts are paired with stunning photographs by the Hall of Fame photographer Andrew D. Bernstein. Bernstein, long the Lakers and NBA official photographer, captured Bryant’s very first NBA photo in 1996 and his last in 2016―and hundreds of thousands in between, the record of a unique, twenty-year relationship between one athlete and one photographer. The combination of Bryant’s narrative and Bernstein’s photos make The Mamba Mentality an unprecedented look behind the curtain at the career of one of the world’s most celebrated and fascinating athletes.

  • Author: Kobe Bryant
  • Publisher: MCD; Illustrated edition (October 23, 2018)
  • Genre: Sports & Outdoors, Biographies
  • ISBN: 978-0374201234
  • Dimensions: 9.31 x 0.96 x 11.24 inches

                 

3. Giannis: The Improbable Rise of an NBA MVP


Top 10 Best Books to Read in Basketball - August 2021

Discover the story of one of the most transcendent players in NBA history–from his early life living in poverty in Greece to his inspiring rise to super-stardom in America. As the face of the NBA's new world order, Giannis Antetokounmpo has overcome unfathomable obstacles to become a symbol of hope for people all over the world, the personification of the American Dream. But his backstory remains largely untold, and Fader unearths new information about the childhood that shaped "The Greek Freak"—from sleeping side by side with his brothers to selling trinkets on the side of the street with his family to the racism he experienced in Greece. Antetokounmpo grew up in an era when Golden Dawn, Greek's far-right, anti-immigrant party, patrolled his neighborhood, and his status as an illegal immigrant largely prevented him from playing for Greek's top clubs, making his rise to the NBA all the more improbable. Fader tells a deeply-human story of how an unknown, skinny, Black-Greek teen, who played in the country's lowest pro division and was seen as a draft gamble, transformed his body and his game into MVP material. Antetokounmpo's story has been framed as a feel-good narrative in which the globe has embraced him, watching him grow up and lead the underdog Bucks to the best record in the NBA in 2020.  Giannis  reveals a more nuanced story: how hesitant Antetokounmpo was, and still is, to spend money; how lonely and isolated he felt, adjusting to America and the NBA early in his career; the way he changed after his father recently died of a heart attack; the complexity of grappling with his Black and Greek identities; how private he is, so hard on himself and his shortcomings, a drive that fuels him every day; and the deep-rooted responsibility he feels to be a nurturing role model for his younger brothers. Fader illustrates a more vulnerable star than people know, a person who has evolved triumphantly into all of his roles: as father, brother, son, teammate, and global icon.  Giannis  gives readers a front-row seat as Antetokounmpo strives for an elusive championship with the Bucks, quelling speculation about potentially leaving Milwaukee after signing a five-year supermax contract extension worth $228 million. Now, he contends with his next big hurdle: proving that committing to a small-market franchise can bring Milwaukee back to glory.

  • Author: Mirin Fader
  • Publisher: Hachette Books (August 10, 2021)
  • Genre: Sports & Outdoors, Biographies
  • ISBN: 978-0306924125
  • Dimensions: 6.35 x 1.6 x 9.35 inches

                 

4. Wooden: A Lifetime of Observations and Reflections On and Off the Court


Top 10 Best Books to Read in Basketball - August 2021

National bestseller "I am just a common man who is true to his beliefs."--John Wooden Evoking days gone by when coaches were respected as much for their off-court performances as for their success on the court, Wooden presents the timeless wisdom of legendary basketball coach John Wooden. In honest and telling passages about virtually every aspect of life, Coach shares his personal philosophy on family, achievement, success, and excellence. Raised on a small farm in south-central Indiana, he offers lessons and wisdom learned throughout his career at UCLA, and life as a dedicated husband, father, and teacher. These lessons, along with personal letters from Bill Walton, Denny Crum, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Bob Costas, among others, have made Wooden: A Lifetime of Observations and Reflections on and off the Court an inspirational classic.

  • Author: John Wooden
  • Publisher: Contemporary Books; 1st edition (April 22, 1997)
  • Genre: Sports & Outdoors, Biographies
  • ISBN: 978-0809230419
  • Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.9 x 7.3 inches

                 

5. Tall Men, Short Shorts: The 1969 NBA Finals: Wilt, Russ, Lakers, Celtics, and a Very Young Sports Reporter


Top 10 Best Books to Read in Basketball - August 2021

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Big Bam   A clash of NBA titans. Seven riveting games. One young reporter. Welcome to the 1969 NBA Finals. They don’t set up any better than this. The greatest basketball player of all time - Bill Russell - and his juggernaut Boston Celtics, winners of ten ( ten! ) of the previous twelve NBA championships, squeak through one more playoff run and land in the Finals again. Russell’s opponent? The fearsome 7’1” next-generation superstar, Wilt Chamberlain, recently traded to the LA Lakers to form the league’s first dream team. Bill Russell and John Havlicek versus Chamberlain, Jerry West and Elgin Baylor. The 1969 Celtics are at the end of their dominance. The 1969 Lakers are unstoppable.   Add to the mix one newly minted reporter. Covering the epic series is a wide-eyed young sports writer named Leigh Montville. Years before becoming an award-winning legend himself at The Boston Globe and Sports Illustrated , twenty-four-year-old Montville is ordered by his editor at the Globe to get on a plane to L.A. (first time!) to write about his luminous heroes, the biggest of big men.   What follows is a raucous, colorful, joyous account of one of the greatest seven-game series in NBA history. Set against a backdrop of the late sixties, Montville’s reporting and recollections transport readers to a singular time – with rampant racial tension on the streets and on the court, with the emergence of a still relatively small league on its way to becoming a billion-dollar industry, and to an era when newspaper journalism and the written word served as the crucial lifeline between sports and sports fans. And there was basketball – seven breathtaking, see-saw games, highlight-reel moments from an unprecedented cast of future Hall of Famers (including player-coach Russell as the first-ever black head coach in the NBA), coast-to-coast travels and the clack-clack-clack of typewriter keys racing against tight deadlines.   Tall Men, Short Shorts is a masterpiece of sports journalism with a charming touch of personal memoir. Leigh Montville has crafted his most entertaining book yet, richly enshrining luminous players and moments in a unique American time.

  • Author: Leigh Montville
  • Publisher: Doubleday (July 13, 2021)
  • Genre: Biographies & Memoirs, Professionals & Academics
  • ISBN: 978-0385545198
  • Dimensions: 6.35 x 1.3 x 9.55 inches

                 



6. Eleven Rings: The Soul of Success


Top 10 Best Books to Read in Basketball - August 2021

During his storied career as head coach of the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers, Phil Jackson won more championships than any coach in the history of professional sports. Even more important, he succeeded in never wavering from coaching his way, from a place of deep values. Jackson was tagged as the "Zen master" half in jest by sportswriters, but the nickname speaks to an important truth: this is a coach who inspired, not goaded; who led by awakening and challenging the better angels of his players' nature, not their egos, fear, or greed. This is the story of a preacher's kid from North Dakota who grew up to be one of the most innovative leaders of our time. In his quest to reinvent himself, Jackson explored everything from humanistic psychology and Native American philosophy to Zen meditation. In the process, he developed a new approach to leadership based on freedom, authenticity, and selfless teamwork that turned the hypercompetitive world of professional sports on its head. In Eleven Rings , Jackson candidly describes how he: Learned the secrets of mindfulness and team chemistry while playing for the champion New York Knicks in the 1970s Managed Michael Jordan, the greatest player in the world, and got him to embrace selflessness, even if it meant losing a scoring title Forged successful teams out of players of varying abilities by getting them to trust one another and perform in sync Inspired Dennis Rodman and other "uncoachable" personalities to devote themselves to something larger than themselves Transformed Kobe Bryant from a rebellious teenager into a mature leader of a championship team. Eleven times, Jackson led his teams to the ultimate goal: the NBA championship - six times with the Chicago Bulls and five times with the Los Angeles Lakers. We all know the legendary stars on those teams, or think we do. What Eleven Rings shows us, however, is that when it comes to the most important lessons, we don't know very much at all. This book is full of revelations: about fascinating personalities and their drive to win; about the wellsprings of motivation and competition at the highest levels; and about what it takes to bring out the best in ourselves and others.

  • Author: Phil Jackson
  • Genre: Biographies & Memoirs, Leaders & Notable People, Rich & Famous

                 

7. LeBron James: The Children's Book: The Boy Who Became King


Top 10 Best Books to Read in Basketball - August 2021

The Boy Who Became King is the inspiring true story of NBA superstar LeBron James. This Fully illustrated picture book biography tells the story of a young boy and his loving, single mother and their struggle to make it on their own. With the help of a coach and his family, LeBron is introduced to the game of basketball. Against all odds, “the kid from Akron” not only makes it to the NBA but becomes a basketball legend who now helps others who are struggling like he and his mother once were. Children's/Kids Picture Book Biography K-6 Be sure to check out the newest released in the series: NBA All Stars 2020-21: The Ultimate Basketball Coloring, Stats and Activity Book for Adults and Kids! by Anthony Curcio!

  • Author: Anthony Curcio
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (October 18, 2016)
  • Genre: Children's Books, Growing Up & Facts of Life
  • ISBN: 978-1539497554
  • Dimensions: 8 x 0.08 x 10 inches

                 

8. Shoot Your Shot: A Sport-Inspired Guide To Living Your Best Life


Top 10 Best Books to Read in Basketball - August 2021

Michael Jordan. Kobe Bryant. LeBron James. Stephen Curry. Kawhi Leonard. Giannis Antetokounmpo. James Harden. Kevin Durant. Russell Westbrook. These are some of the most high profile names in one of the world's most popular sports--basketball. But what steps did they take to elevate themselves to superstardom? What principles did they follow in order to become the best of the best? More importantly, how can you use their example to attain success in all of your endeavors? 'Shoot Your Shot' identifies the key principles that the world's most elite basketball players have applied to their lives and explains in detail how you can can use those same exact principles to help you navigate through life, accomplish your goals, and realize your dreams. Divided into Quarters and making you feel like you are in an actual basketball game, 'Shoot Your Shot' provides an entertaining and unique reading experience while equipping you with proven tools for success. More than just a book about sports, 'Shoot Your Shoot' is suitable for everyone--regardless of age, gender, background, or standing in life.

  • Author: Vernon Brundage Jr.
  • Publisher: Independently published (October 13, 2018)
  • Genre: Sports & Outdoors, Basketball
  • ISBN: 978-1719900386
  • Dimensions: 5.25 x 0.5 x 8 inches

                 

9. I Came As a Shadow: An Autobiography


Top 10 Best Books to Read in Basketball - August 2021

The long-awaited autobiography from Georgetown University’s legendary coach, whose life on and off the basketball court threw America’s unresolved struggle with racial justice into sharp relief. John Thompson was never just a basketball coach and I Came As A Shadow is categorically not just a basketball autobiography. After five decades at the center of race and sports in America, Thompson―the iconic NCAA champion, Black activist, and educator―was ready to make the private public at last, and he completed this autobiography shortly before his death in the historically tumultuous summer of 2020. Chockful of stories and moving beyond mere stats (three Final Fours, four-time national coach of the year, seven Big East championships, 97 percent graduation rate), Thompson’s book drives us through his childhood under Jim Crow segregation to our current moment of racial reckoning. We experience riding shotgun with Celtics icon Red Auerbach and coaching NBA Hall of Famers like Patrick Ewing and Allen Iverson. What were the origins of the the phrase “Hoya Paranoia”? You’ll see. And parting his veil of secrecy, Thompson brings us into his negotiation with a D.C. drug kingpin in his players’ orbit in the 1980s, as well as behind the scenes of his years on the Nike board. Thompson’s mother was a teacher who had to clean houses because of racism in the nation's capital. His father could not read or write. Their son grew up to be a man with his own larger-than-life statue in a building that bears his family’s name on a campus once kept afloat by the selling of 272 enslaved Black people. This is a great American story, and John Thompson’s experience sheds light on many of the issues roiling our nation. In these pages, he proves himself to be the elder statesman whose final words college basketball and the country need to hear. I Came As A Shadow is not a swan song, but a bullhorn blast from one of America’s most prominent sons.

  • Author: John Thompson
  • Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (December 15, 2020)
  • Genre: Politics & Social Sciences, Social Sciences
  • ISBN: 978-1250619358
  • Dimensions: 6.41 x 1.29 x 9.59 inches

                 

10. Fade Away: A Myron Bolitar Novel


Top 10 Best Books to Read in Basketball - August 2021

The home was top-notch New Jersey suburban. The living room was Martha Stewart. The basement was Legos...and blood. For sports agent Myron Bolitar, the disappearance of a man he once competed against was bringing back memories, of the sport he and Greg Downing had both played and the woman they both loved. Now, among the stars, the wanna-bes, the gamblers, and the groupies, Myron is unraveling the strange, violent ride of a sports hero gone wrong, and coming face-to-face with a past he can't relive, and a present he may not survive. In novels that crackle with wit and suspense, Edgar Award winner Harlan Coben has created one of the most fascinating and complex heroes in suspense fiction - Myron Bolitar - a hotheaded, tenderhearted sports agent who grows more and more engaging and unpredictable with each appearance.

  • Author: Harlan Coben
  • Genre: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Thrillers & Suspense, Suspense