Basketball and Philosophy: Thinking Outside the Paint

Front Cover
Jerry Walls
University Press of Kentucky, Mar 9, 2007 - Philosophy - 304 pages
0 Reviews
What can the film Hoosiers teach us about the meaning of life? How can ancient Eastern wisdom traditions, such as Taoism and Zen Buddhism, improve our jump-shots? What can the “Zen Master” (Phil Jackson) and the “Big Aristotle” (Shaquille O’Neal) teach us about sustained excellence and success? Is women’s basketball “better” basketball? How, ethically, should one deal with a strategic cheater in pickup basketball? With NBA and NCAA team rosters constantly changing, what does it mean to play for the “same team”? What can coaching legends Dean Smith, Rick Pitino, Pat Summitt, and Mike Krzyzewski teach us about character, achievement, and competition? What makes basketball such a beautiful game to watch and play? Basketball is now the most popular team sport in the United States; each year, more than 50 million Americans attend college and pro basketball games. When Dr. James Naismith, the inventor of basketball, first nailed two peach baskets at the opposite ends of a Springfield, Massachusetts, gym in 1891, he had little idea of how thoroughly the game would shape American—and international—culture. Hoops superstars such as Michael Jordan, LeBron James, and Yao Ming are now instantly recognized celebrities all across the planet. So what can a group of philosophers add to the understanding of basketball? It is a relatively simple game, but as Kant and Dennis Rodman liked to say, appearances can be deceiving. Coach Phil Jackson actively uses philosophy to improve player performance and to motivate and inspire his team and his fellow coaches, both on and off the court. Jackson has integrated philosophy into his coaching and his personal life so thoroughly that it is often difficult to distinguish his role as a basketball coach from his role as a philosophical guide and mentor to his players. In Basketball and Philosophy, a Dream Team of twenty-six basketball fans, most of whom also happen to be philosophers, proves that basketball is the thinking person’s sport. They look at what happens when the Tao meets the hardwood as they explore the teamwork, patience, selflessness, and balanced and harmonious action that make up the art of playing basketball.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

TipOff
1
Building Communities One Gym at a Time
7
To Hack or Not to Hack?
19
Basketball Purists
31
Hardwood Dojos
44
What Would Machiavelli Do?
57
Basketball Violence Forgiveness and Healing
71
The Breaks of the Game
83
Hoop Dreams Blacktop Realities
158
She Got Game
168
Shooting with Confidence
185
The Hot Hand in Basketball
196
Philosophers Cant Jump
207
Playing for the Same Team Again
220
Plato and Aristotle on the Role of Soul in Taking the Rock to the Hole
235
The Basket that Never Was
244

The Beauty of the Game
94
The Zen Master and the Big Aristotle
107
Wilt Versus Russell
116
The Wizard Versus the General
129
The Dao of Hoops
147
Hoosiers and the Meaning of Life
256
The Lineup
274
Index
279
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

Popular passages

Page 18 - ... 5. No shouldering, holding, pushing, tripping, or striking, in any way the person of an opponent shall be allowed ; the first infringement of this rule by any...

About the author (2007)

Jerry L. Walls is professor of philosophy of religion at Asbury Theological Seminary. Among his previous books are Heaven: The Logic of Eternal Joy and Hell: The Logic of Damnation. Gregory Bassham, professor of philosophy at King’s College (Pennsylvania), is the author of Original Intent and the Constitution and coeditor of The Lord of the Rings and Philosophy: One Book to Rule Them All and The Chronicles of Narnia and Philosophy: The Lion, the Witch, and the Worldview.

Bibliographic information