Sacred Hoops


Does religion, spirituality, business, and personal lives have areas of overlap in the way one develops their social and inner personality? Do people have more then one mask or are they all the same mask expressing themselves in different ways?
These are the questions that came to mind when reading the foreword, written by Senator Bill Bradley, of the autobiography "Sacred Hoops" by Phil Jackson. I soon learned that we all have many masks that are worn at different times but the inner personality can be a single unit. Many of us lose site of what it is we are truly thinking of. Phil Jackson describes this in his book as oneness with the moment . That is focusing your full attention on what's happening right this moment. This sparked my interest greatly. I mean we can all benefit from a little focus, right?
So, I began reading the book. To my astonishment, I found the book to be very interesting and read most of it in a single sitting. Using the principles of Zen Buddhism and the ideals of the Lakota Sioux warrior, Phil Jackson teaches his players how to work hard even when the spotlight is on someone else. The book continues on subjects like religion, spirituality, and unity among the team and with ones self. These were all new concepts for me. Though I embraced the ideas, I was skeptical of the practice. It was not until I read the book that I realized that the practice of these concepts could be as easy and much more unstructured then I previously had thought.

Dynamic Thoughts of Sacred Hoops

In this section of the report I will attempt to incorporate some of the leanings taught throughout the semester. This section is broken into sub-categories to ease the reading. I make every attempt to touch basis subjects of interest and subjects that relate directly with the book. I will go into further detail on non-book-related topics in the coming sections


Someone once said "if you can not state something better then the originator, it is best not to change it at all". This quote stands true of this book. Phil Jackson states "winning at any cost doesn't interest me". This statement says something very deep about Jackson's concept of basketball and life in general. I believe that he views competition as a necessary evil. He states that victory is sweet but it does not make the next game any easier. He realizes that winning is the ultimate goal but it is the journey of winning that is important in order to continue winning. A team does not get to the championships by fighting to win every game at any cost. This is something that is best suited for the battlefield, not the everyday lives of teammates or citizens.
Competition in the world of basketball is a lot like the corporate world, if you don't win, someone else will. The key to winning the marketshare (and marketshare is the number of seats filled at each game) is a quality product that customers can come to rely on. That means that the team must be consistent and continue to improve its product. Inherently, like any product, it is the people manufacturing the product that take pride in their work who instill quality into the product. So, what is the Chicago Bull's product, you ask? It is the team itself and its actions on the court, which determine if the quality and pride of workmanship is there in ordered to satisfy the customer, spectators.


The Webster online dictionary describes the word cooperation as the action of cooperating, a common effort or association of persons for common benefit . To me cooperation describes the effort of individuals to better serve the goal of the whole. This means to express and sometimes suppress ones thoughts and feelings conservatively in order to support the common goal of the whole. I may have a grasp of what I think it means to me, Phil was taught many of these same lessons in greater detail through New York's Red Holzman.
In Jackson's book he describes what he learned of cooperation from Red as "the power of "we" is stronger then the power of "me"" . I can't agree more. I feel that the entire concept of cooperation is geared