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Best Basketball Books

Dive into the game with the top basketball books, curated from leading sports publications and blogs. Featuring titles celebrated for their insight into the sport's history, strategy, and legends, each book scored big in multiple reviews.

Recommendations from 60 articles, Barack Obama, Ashton Kutcher, Joe Scarborough and 18 others.
Best Basketball Books
100 books on the list
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Eleven Rings book cover
Eleven Rings
The Soul of Success
Phil Jackson - 2013-05-21
Goodreads Rating
A legendary coach in the world of professional sports, Phil Jackson won more championships than any other coach in history. Nicknamed the "Zen master," Jackson inspired his players through mindfulness, teamwork, and leadership based on freedom and authenticity. In Eleven Rings, Jackson reveals his secrets on how he transformed rebellious personalities such as Kobe Bryant into championship leaders, became the master of team chemistry, and got Michael Jordan to embrace selflessness. Filled with interesting personalities, motivation, and lessons on how to bring out the best in ourselves and others, this book is a must-read for sports fans and those looking to become better leaders.
Recommended by
Tom Bilyeu
Loose Balls book cover
Loose Balls
The Short, Wild Life of the American Basketball Association
Terry Pluto - 1991-12-15 (first published in 1990)
Goodreads Rating
Discover the outrageous story of the American Basketball Association, the league that birthed everything we love about modern NBA - the 3-point shot, flashy moves, and flying dunks. Loose Balls is the ultimate history of the ABA, told in the words of players, writers, and connivers who lived through the craziness. This definitive book is a wild, hilarious ride through one of the most bizarre moments in pro sports history.
Recommended by
Zak Keefer
The Mamba Mentality book cover
The Mamba Mentality
How I Play
Kobe Bryant - 2018-10-23
Goodreads Rating
Discover the core of the legendary “Mamba Mentality” through the eyes of one of the most intelligent and creative basketball players ever. This book by Kobe Bryant takes readers on an unprecedented journey through his famously detailed approach to the game, with fascinating granular detail and stunning photographs by the Hall of Fame photographer Andrew D. Bernstein. Learn how Bryant studied opponents, channeled his passion for the game, played through injuries, and broke down specific plays and match-ups from throughout his career. A must-read for young players, hardcore fans, and devoted students of the game.
The Breaks of the Game book cover
The Breaks of the Game
David Halberstam - 1983-10-01 (first published in 1981)
Goodreads Rating
This book covers the professional basketball industry from players to coaches, road trips, and behind-the-scenes action. Written by best-selling author David Halberstam, it offers a unique and informative perspective on the sport. Discover the fascinating world of basketball in a way you've never seen it before.
Recommended by
Chris Wesseling
The Book of Basketball book cover
The Book of Basketball
The NBA According to The Sports Guy
Bill Simmons - 2009-10-27
Goodreads Rating
Discover the ultimate guide to professional basketball with this all-in-one book written by a true fanatic. In-depth analysis and captivating opinions cover everything from past rivalries to present-day matchups, and even the future of the sport. With a unique and exhaustive ranking system, this book offers an exciting exploration of the top 96 players in NBA history. Packed with controversy, humor, and insider knowledge from one of the industry's top writers, The Book of Basketball is an essential resource for fans of the game.
The Miracle of St. Anthony book cover
The Miracle of St. Anthony
A Season with Coach Bob Hurley and Basketball's Most Improbable Dynasty
Adrian Wojnarowski - 2006-01-19 (first published in 2005)
Goodreads Rating
Basketball coach Bob Hurley has achieved miracles with his team at St. Anthony High School, offering hope to troubled teenagers from Jersey City's mean streets. This gripping and heartrending book follows Hurley's season with his most dysfunctional team yet as he strives to lead them to glory through his unparalleled understanding of basketball and his determination to save children from urban decay.
The Jordan Rules book cover
The Jordan Rules
The Inside Story of One Turbulent Season with Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls
Sam Smith - 1993-01-01 (first published in 1992)
Goodreads Rating
This compelling read takes readers inside the world of Michael Jordan and the 1990-1991 Chicago Bulls team. Author Sam Smith was there for the ride as the Bulls finally broke through and won their first NBA championship, and he reveals a candid and provocative picture of Jordan's relationships with coaches, teammates, and management. From power struggles to obsessions, this book provides nonstop excitement, tension, and thrills for sports fans. Get ready to discover the team behind the man, and the man behind the living legend.
Recommended by
Larry Ellison
Sum It Up book cover
Sum It Up
A Thousand and Ninety-Eight Victories, a Couple of Irrelevant Losses, and a Life in Perspective
Pat Head Summitt - 2014-03-04 (first published in 2013)
Goodreads Rating
Legendary NCAA basketball coach, Pat Summitt, shares her inspiring story of determination and resilience in the face of early-onset Alzheimer's disease. Summitt, the all-time winningest coach in NCAA basketball history, coached the Tennessee Vols women's basketball team for 38 years, breaking records and leading her teams to numerous championships. Along the way, Summitt learned to balance toughness with communication and kindness, and became a role model for many. Her life took a shocking turn when she was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in 2011, but she continued to lead her team to victory and faced this new challenge with her characteristic grace, perseverance, and sense of humor.
Leading with the Heart book cover
Leading with the Heart
Coach K's Successful Strategies for Basketball, Business, and Life
Mike Krzyzewski - 2001-03-01 (first published in 2000)
Goodreads Rating
Learn from one of the greatest college basketball coaches of all time in Leading with the Heart. Duke University's head coach has led his team to five straight Final Four appearances and back-to-back championships in 1991 and '92. With five National Coach of the Year Awards and many of his players going on to NBA stardom, Coach K offers insights he uses to coax peak performances from his team, relying on lessons he learned as a captain in the U.S. Army, sportsmanship, respect, and leading with the heart.
The Last Shot book cover
The Last Shot
City Streets, Basketball Dreams
Darcy Frey - 2004-03-03 (first published in 1994)
Goodreads Rating
Discover the hope and struggle of four promising basketball players in Coney Island in The Last Shot. As they strive to escape a life of crime and poverty with their athletic talent, they must also navigate the ruthless world of college athletic recruitment. With vivid storytelling, author Darcy Frey takes readers on a journey into the inner-city and the high-stakes business of college basketball.
A Season on the Brink by John Feinstein
When the Game Was Ours by Larry Bird
Salt in His Shoes by Deloris Jordan
Toughness by Jay Bilas
Relentless by Tim S. Grover
Dream Team by Jack McCallum
Showtime by Jeff Pearlman
Pistol by Mark Kriegel
Basketball by Shea Serrano
Giannis by Mirin Fader
Basketball by Jackie MacMullan
My Losing Season by Pat Conroy
Stephen Curry by Anthony Curcio
The Crossover by Kwame Alexander
The Winner Within by Pat Riley
Wooden on Leadership by John Wooden
Basketball on Paper by Dean Oliver
Pacific Rims by Rafe Bartholomew
Shoot Your Shot by Vernon Brundage Jr.
Coaching Basketball For Dummies by The National Alliance For Youth Sports
Players First by John Calipari
Wooden by John Wooden
The Sixth Man by Andre Iguodala
I Came As a Shadow by John Thompson
Life Is Not an Accident by Jay Williams
Nikki on the Line by Barbara Carroll Roberts
Legends by Howard Bryant
STAT by Amar'E Stoudemire
The Gold Standard by Mike Krzyzewski
The Hoops Whisperer by Idan Ravin
Don't Put Me In, Coach by Mark Titus
Coaching Basketball Successfully by Morgan Wootten
B is for Baller by James Littlejohn
Can I Keep My Jersey? by Paul Shirley
Sacred Hoops by Phil Jackson
Coach Wooden and Me by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Michael Jordan by Roland Lazenby
Blood in the Garden by Chris Herring
Three-Ring Circus by Jeff Pearlman
The Last Great Game by Gene Wojciechowski
Seven Seconds or Less by Jack McCallum
When Nothing Else Matters by Michael Leahy
Heaven Is a Playground by Rick Telander
Tuff Juice by Caron Butler
The Boys of Dunbar by Alejandro Danois
Basketball's Greatest Players by S. A. Kramer
Walk-On Warrior by John Willkom
The Final Four by Paul Volponi
Hoop Queen by Marci Peschke
Life on the Run by Bill Bradley
Basketball by Dean Smith
Golden by Marcus Thompson
Practical Modern Basketball by John R. Wooden
When March Went Mad by Seth Davis
Basketball Break by CC Joven
My Life On a Napkin by Rick Majerus
Dino-Basketball by Lisa Wheeler
Furious George by George Karl
Geno by Geno Auriemma
The Carolina Way by Dean Smith
Slam Dunk! by The Editors of Sports Illustrated Kids
How to Be Better At Basketball in 21 days by James Wilson
Teresa Weatherspoon's Basketball for Girls by Teresa Weatherspoon
Rebound by Kwame Alexander
Boy21 by Matthew Quick
Stanford Wong Flunks Big-time by Lisa Yee
Basketball Belles by Sue Macy
Basketball by James Naismith
By Rick Telander - Heaven Is a Playground (English Language) (1995-10-16) [Paperback] by Rick Telander
Becoming Kareem by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Sum It Up by Pat Head Summitt, Sally Jenkins
Playing for Keeps by David Halberstam
The Fab Five by Mitch Albom
FreeDarko Presents by Bethlehem Shoals
Driven from Within by Michael Jordan
Travel Team by Mike Lupica
Who Is Michael Jordan? by Kirsten Anderson
Training Camp by Jon Gordon
Last Shot by John Feinstein
The Great Nowitzki by Thomas Pletzinger
InSideOut Coaching by Joe Ehrmann
Raise the Roof by Pat Summitt
The City Game by Matthew Goodman
The Crossover Series 3-Book Collection by Kwame Alexander
Sports Illustrated Basketball's Greatest by The Editors of Sports Illustrated
Stuff Good Players Should Know by Dick Devenzio
The 21st Century Basketball Practice by Brian T. McCormick
True Legend by Mike Lupica
The Women's Basketball Drill Book by Women'S Basketball Coaches Association
The Energy Bus by Jon Gordon