You can spend countless hours on the court developing your physical attributes and skills, but we all know the best players to ever play the game have a winning mindset. Establishing a winning mindset means finding a basketball book that helps you bring out your inner champion.
In this edition of thisisbasketball.world we take a look at our favorite basketball books for Mamba Mentality.
Why Basketball Books for Success?
Whenever I think about a winning mindset I think back to the Netflix series The Last Dance. If you haven’t watched it – you’re really missing out.
Although the series chronicles the Chicago bulls as a whole, the majority of the show is based on Michael Jordan. With exclusive footage captured over the Bulls meteoric seasons, the directors document what a winning mentality really is.
We’re paraphrasing now, but MJ goes on to say that he is willing to do whatever it takes to win. He understands that winning comes at a cost.
Basketball books help to shape an athlete’s perspective on the game.
If you’re content with winning a game here or there and being the best player in your neighborhood – well, maybe you’ll be alright with watching YouTube Clips or funny basketball memes.
For all the athletes out there that are looking for how they can achieve greatness at any cost – this list of the top 8 basketball books for Mamba Mentality is for you.
8 Basketball Books for Mamba Mentality
We looked far and wide to find the best basketball books from athletes, hall of farmers, coaches and supporting staff. We believe everyone has a part to play in shaping your mentality as an athlete. Let’s dive in with the only real place we can start – Kobe Bryant.
Kobe’s death took the world by surprise, but out of the darkness, small gifts and remembrances of his legacy were left for us to treasure. The book The Mamba Mentality: How I Play is a brief journal of how Kobe changed the game with his unique style of isolation offense.
Although some may consider Kobe a ball hog, today’s coaches see his style of play as one that was revolutionary in a time where big Centers like Shaq, Hakeem and Duncan were the primary offensive threats.
Left as a treasure, this book allows you to see the game through the eyes of a legend. Read more about his career and work ethic in The Mamba Mentality: How I Play.
It’s only natural we pivot from one great to another. Michael Jordan is arguably the greatest player to step onto a basketball court. From athletic ability to training mentality, he controlled every aspect of the game – but this book isn’t about his style of play.
Instead of talking about how he shaped the game, Michael writes about the role models that shaped his life and helped him rise to superstar status.
Through teamwork and collaboration, Michael Jordan describes his life work, goals, aspirations and all the people that helped him succeed in life.
Driven From Within will help any athlete to see the benefits of teamwork, collaboration and sheer determination. Read the full book here.
Tim Grover is perhaps the most famous athletic trainer in basketball history. Having trained the likes of Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade and many others, his insight into how to become physically dominant in any sport is unmatched.
The book title says it all – relentless and unstoppable. Tim Grover describes how he can take any athlete or individual to the top with a proven track record of success.
Don’t believe us? Take it from the master himself, Kobe Bryant:
“Tim Grover is the master of mental toughness. This book is the blueprint for discovering what you are capable of achieving, getting results you never imagined, reaching the highest level of success–and then going even higher.” — Kobe Bryant
Those looking for a lighter read for a sunday afternoon can look to Bill Simmons in his book of Basketball: The NBA According to The Sports Guy.
Although this basketball book is not about how to become a better basketball player, it does take a deep dive into the sport as a whole – observing the rivalries, dynamic duos, changes in rules, advances in the game and even how the system inducts hall of fame athletes.
Sometimes the best way to become more successful at a sport is to take a step back from training and understand how the organization and business runs.
Read more about how the game is constantly changing, and how you can adapt to become a successful player in Basketball: The NBA According to The Sports Guy.
If you’re sitting here thinking “what’s a motion offense” – stop, open this link, and watch the San Antonio Spurs run a motion offense.
The motion offense is a huge gamechanger for any team. As a player, you have a responsibility to score, defend, pass and make each teammate you play with a better athlete.
In his Book Complete Guide to Motion Offense: Implementing the 5 out, 4 out or dribble drive, Keith Rumjahn describes how any team can perform effective motion offense.
Mentality or not, each basketball player needs a role on the court and the motion offense allows every player to shine through simple execution and movement. Read more about motion offense here.
If the 2020 Bubble NBA Finals showed anything, it’s that every basketball player has a role to play. The likes of Duncan Robinson and rookie Tyler Herro show that with the correct drive and passion to play the game anyone can make it to the highest level.
In his book Walk-On Warrior: Drive, Discipline, and the Will to Win, John Willkom takes you into his life and rises to NBA success. Through the eyes of an underdog, experience, talent and the will to succeed help change his life.
We’ve all had someone dig at our confidence, telling us the numbers and stats are not in our favour. Through reading his basketball book, John Willkom will teach you life lessons that allow you to silence the negativity and rise to become a premium player.
Read more about Walk-On Warrior here.
Rapture: Fifteen Teams, Four Countries, One NBA Championship, and How to Find a Way to Win — Damn Near Anywhere (Nick Nurse)
Arguably the greatest coach in the NBA today, Nick Nurse has had a career far from perfect. Through the chronicles of his athlete and coaching days, his basketball book describes how you can find success anywhere.
Relate to the struggle and grind of an underdog, Rapture helps any coach or athlete to utilize old-school tactics to astonishing success.
If you understand x’s and o’s you know that Nick Nurse is nothing short of a basketball play-making genius – why not learn from one today?
Establish yourself as a champion by learning from one in Rapture: Fifteen Teams, Four Countries, One NBA Championship, and How to Find a Way to Win — Damn Near Anywhere.
Is there a better place to end our soul-searching, basketball book journey but with Phil Jackson? In his book Eleven Rings: The Soul of Success, Phil Jackson accounts his life, career, mistakes, athletes and family that helped him find the winning mentality.
Detailing the journey of a preacher kid who became one of the most innovative leaders of our generation, this basketball book will help to concrete your knowledge of mamba mentality. Having coached both Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant, Phil Jackson could be the most experienced person to help athletes build success in all assets of the game.
Read more about how you can achieve the soul of success here.
Bringing it All Together
Look, we know that most people don’t have the time to read all of these books. Most athletes barely have the time to get a workout in, study and nourish the body – but this deep dive into the best basketball books for Mamba Mentality is our way of paying respect to the greats.
Increase your knowledge, build on others’ experience, utilize every piece of information, take control of the game and build your skillset with our list of the top basketball books in 2020.
Basketball Book Quick List + Links
|The Mamba Mentality: How I Play (Kobe Bryant)
|Driven From Within (Michael Jordan)
|Relentless: From Good to Great to Unstoppable (Tim Grover)
|The Book of Basketball: The NBA According to The Sports Guy (Bill Simmons)
|Complete Guide to Motion Offense: Implementing the 5 out, 4 out or dribble drive (Keith Rumjahn)
|Walk-On Warrior: Drive, Discipline, and the Will to Win (John Willkom)
|Rapture: Fifteen Teams, Four Countries, One NBA Championship, and How to Find a Way to Win — Damn Near Anywhere (Nick Nurse)
|Eleven Rings: The Soul of Success (Phil Jackson)