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Mindgames: Phil Jackson's Long Strange Journey [Englisch] [Taschenbuch]

Roland Lazenby

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April 2007
Mindgames follows the journey of Phil Jackson to the top of basketball's coaching hierarchy, a rise that took him from obscurity in the Continental Basketball Association to nine championship rings in the NBA. Along the way he turned multimillionaire players on to meditation, transformed the Michael Jordan-led Chicago Bulls from a one-man show to a five-man team of domination, and after battling with Bulls management, ended one dynasty to start another on the West Coast. Sportswriter Roland Lazenby, author of the bestselling Blood on the Horns, reveals the fascinating story of Jackson's life, from his years with the New York Knicks under the legendary Red Holzman to his remarkable nine championships coaching first the Chicago Bulls and then the Los Angeles Lakers. In Mindgames Lazenby compellingly portrays a man with a unique determination to control the competitive environment he inhabits. A clear picture of the Jackson mystique emerges: philosopher, teacher, manipulator, counselor, psychologist, shaman, champion, master of mind games.

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Mindgames: Phil Jackson's Long Strange Journey + Sacred Hoops: Spiritual Lessons of a Hardwood Warrior: Spiritual Lessons as a Hardwood Warrior
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Complex as he is colorful, Phil Jackson has led an improbable basketball life, marching to the tune of his own iconoclastic drummer and managing to win at every level along the way. He doesn't think like an average jock, nor does he approach his game like one: just ask Michael Jordan or Shaquille O'Neal, who've played better for him than for anyone else. Roland Lazenby couldn't have come up with a better title for his compelling exploration of what makes Jackson tick and how he evolved into one of the most successful and driven coaches in NBA history; for Jackson, the joy of his game is every bit as cerebral and psychological as it is physical. His aim, he says, is to help his players "strengthen the muscle of their minds."

Of course, Jackson--part shaman, part shrink, part mentor, part guide--has found some fascinating ways to strengthen his own, including LSD, meditation, Zen, Native American culture, William James's Varieties of Religious Experience, and the Grateful Dead. They are as much a part of Jackson's evolving core as pounding the offensive boards with the Knicks and warring with Bulls' management. If some of it seems contradictory, it is those very contradictions--more than the seven championship rings as a coach and two as a player--that make Jackson so interesting; they have helped him reshape and redefine the job. "Somehow," writes Lazenby, "Jackson has managed the very difficult feat of blending fun and discipline and spiritual exploration for his teams, sort of like combining a trip to the dentist with a carnival ride." No other coach has learned to walk that delicate balance so gracefully. But then, balance is Jackson's operating metaphor: keeping himself--and his teams--in balance while keeping opponents off theirs.

In Mindgames, Lazenby puts together a smart, solidly reported, and balanced portrait of a Zen master with a dark, driven side. He respects Jackson enough to not whitewash him. After all, innovators have a way of stepping on toes, and in basketball, the shoes, like the personalities, tend to be oversized. --Jeff Silverman -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine vergriffene oder nicht verfügbare Ausgabe dieses Titels.


"A must for any serious student of basketball."--Gary Dretzka, "Chicago Tribune"--Gary Dretzka "Chicago Tribune "

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Amazon.com: 3.8 von 5 Sternen  13 Rezensionen
9 von 9 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen A great account of Jackson's life 13. Februar 2001
Von Constantine Ananiadis - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
Having always been intrigued by Phil Jackson as a coach and a person, I was thrilled to see that an account of his interesting career and life had been published. Being a coach myself, I had always wanted to find how this living legend's mind works and maybe try to apply some of his ideas/concepts to my coaching. That was the reason that I had devoured "Sacred Hoops" as soon as it came out back in 95-96.
I was also excited to see "the value" that the book offers: 400 pages..."Not bad" I thought, and I went ahead and ordered the book right away!
The content of the book did not disappoint me one bit. It is nicely structured (chronologically) and it gives quite an insight and quite a few details of Jackson's life. Usually a slow reader, I breezed through this nicely written piece of work by Lazenby. I especially enjoyed the quotes from interviews and informal discussions that either Jackson himself or people he was associated with had given in the past. I also really liked the fact that the book includes Jackson's first season in LA. I think this adds tremendous value to the book: it makes its publishing a lot more timely and therefore more appealing.
My only couple of concerns with this publication are the following: a) The book seems to repeat itself at times mentioning the same thing over and over maybe from a different perspective but the same information/idea none-the-less. I apologize for not having a good example of this handy, but I wasn't taking notes while I was reading... b) The book is a little too "superficial" for my taste. Jackson is such a complicated and unique person and I think this book makes little or no attempt to try and "decipher" him. I am not sure, however, that that was even the intent of the author to begin with. Maybe all Lazenby wanted to do was give an account of Jackson's life and not really try to judge/critique his coaching techniques or philosophies. Regardless, I felt that since the author seems to "know" Jackson so well, he should have tried to offer an opinion on some of the controversial decisions in his personal or professional life.
Overall, I'd say that anyone interested in Jackson should get this book. Lazenby gives you an objective account of Jackson's life (the good AND the bad; unlike many autobiographies...) and one will have a great time reading through the stories and looking at the pictures.
Should a basketball (or other) coach get the book though in order to maybe "gain some coaching knowledge"? I wouldn't think so...
16 von 21 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen Interesting, But Nothing That Will Blow Your Mind 21. März 2001
Von MoneyB - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
As someone who has read "Sacred Hoops" three times and follows Phil Jackson's coaching career very closely, I was very excited to see this on the shelf at my local bookstore. This was a good book. I breezed through it. I thought it was very well written, and it did have some interesting anecdotes. In my opionion, probably the most interesting part of the book wasn't even about Coach Jackson, but rather about the people who have worked with him. The short biopics of the Chicago Jerrys, Scottie Pippen, Horace Grant, and others were very interesting to me - and very fair (which is tough these days when you read anything about Krause).
On the other end of the stick, I would agree that the book did seem a tad superficial as far as Jackson is concerned. It promises to give you insight into one of the most complex figures in contemporary sports, but really does not do that. It only touches superifically on his connection to Buddhism, meditation, and his relationships outside of basketball. Indeed, the end of Jackson's second marriage - certainly one of the more important influences in his life - is entirely covered in one short paragraph of a few sentences.
All in all, this was a decent book. However, I won't be reading it again.
5 von 6 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
2.0 von 5 Sternen History of the Bulls..... Not Jackson 3. August 2001
Von Ein Kunde - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
This is an easy read... But you have to hash through a lot of common knowledge about the Bulls to get any interesting tidbits about Jackson. Sacred Hoops gives you much more perspective into Jackson than this book does. The author teases the reader with an opening story about how Jackson smokes two cigarettes and drinks a beer before he talked to the Bulls after a game... A great bit of informaion, but many true Bulls fans could have picked this up the the local papers or sports talk shows... The author gets most of his inside information from Tex Schram, Johnny Bach, and Skip Schaefer. The majority of the book is a general chronicle of the Bulls 8 year 6 title run offering few insights on Jackson. If you followed the Bulls, read Sacred Hoops, the only 'fresh' information comes from the last two chapters about Jackson's year off and some information about Jackson's first year with the Lakers. It reads quick, but do not expect learn any new in depth information about Jackson.
5 von 6 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen Title is misleading, but a good quick read nonetheless 2. Januar 2002
Von Victoria Mulhern - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
I have always been intrigued by the work of the "Zenmaster," which is why I first decided to read this book. I had heard about Jackson's work in mending the rift between Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant and had wondered how he did it when others could not. The first 100 pages of this book delve into the mind of this phenomenal coach, but the rest of the book goes on to name his achievements. Yes, it was interesting to learn a little more about Michael Jordan, Pippen, Grant and Rodman but those guys were not the reason I picked up the book. If I wanted to learn about those players, I would have read "The Jordan Rules." Bottom line, I would rather pick up "Sacred Hoops" or "Maverick", which were actually written by Jackson himself.
3 von 5 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Long Strange Journey; but Mundane Occasionally 21. August 2002
Von Rob Rumsey - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
The book definitely discusses in detail, Phil Jackson's zen/indian philiosophies and techniues, and his propensity to use such things to create champions.
Other interesting areas include his background coaching in a turbulent, out of control south American league, where drunken fights in the stands were the norm and bullets weren't restricted to the stands.
Discussions of his idiosyncracies as a player, and the mentoring he received as a coach, especially when learning/incorporating the triangle offense, are also definitely worth a read.
The books discussions of his behind-the-scenes experience with management, in team meetings, and on the tour bus reveal him as an expert in "playing politics." Despite its somewhat negative connotation, his "Mind Games" (also the book's title) appear ro have contributed to his tremendous professional success (NBA Championship rings).
However, his somewhat antagonisitic actions towards team ownership and media have left him with a somewhat questionable reputation. The book discusses this in detail. For example, without provocation, he once kicked a reporter off the team bus, leaving her stranded, and regularly exiled the team's owner from meetings). The book explains the rationale for these actions. Jackson sees "team solidarity" as a crucial aspect of "building the team spirit" and allowing it to grow.
In addition, the book is fairly current and details his brief, ongoing career with the Lakers, revealing some surprisingly esoteric insights about the team and his role in it.
His unorthodox, yet wildly successful NBA coaching career make this an interesting and thoughtful read. However, this review ranks the book four stars out of five, simply because the book's meticulously long discussions seasons' worth of quasi-important matches on the hardwood floor becomes a bit redundant and irrelevant(playoff/championship games excluded).
But if you're a basketball fan, a Lakers' fan, a Bulls' fan, or are simply intrigued by the man and his phenomenally successful, yet wholistically unorthodox approach to life, interpersonal relations, and success, this book comes highly recommended.
Rob Rumsey
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