Eleven Rings: The Soul of Success

Phil Jackson and Hugh Delehanty. Penguin Press, $27.95 (368pp) ISBN 978-1-59420-511-8
Jackson won 11 championships as an NBA head coach with the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers, a feat all the more impressive, and complicated, given that he had to manage superstar personalities like Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal in L.A. and Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen in Chicago, none of whom was eternally ready to embrace the group effort required in basketball. As a coach, Jackson’s method was to encourage individuality within the team, a paradigm that required flexibility on his end, whether it was embracing the human id known as Dennis Rodman or sharpening his teams’ focus by practicing mindfulness meditation. Jackson’s seventh book, which traces his path from North Dakota ministers’ son to his current legendary status, memorably describes how he tamed the delicate nature of a basketball team. While the book has a nice amount of material detailing the exhausting mental effort required to lead a team—things were so corrosive with Bryant early on, that the coach dreamt of spanking him—Jackson doesn’t offer nearly enough of himself, so the book feels more like a marketing tool meant to polish his public profile as a sagacious Zen master of tall men. Readers looking for a motivational push will be most pleased; basketball fans hankering for insider stories on some historic teams will be disappointed. Photos not seen by PW. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/08/2013
Release date: 05/21/2013
Show other formats
Paperback - 370 pages - 978-0-14-312534-1
Compact Disc - 978-1-61176-167-2
Ebook - 368 pages - 978-1-101-61796-0
Hardcover - 352 pages - 978-0-7535-5638-2
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