By Jerry L. Walls, Visit Amazon's Gregory Bassham Page, search results, Learn about Author Central, Gregory Bassham, , Dick Vitale

What can the movie Hoosiers train us concerning the that means of lifestyles? How can historic jap knowledge traditions, comparable to Taoism and Zen Buddhism, enhance our jump-shots? What can the "Zen grasp" (Phil Jackson) and the "Big Aristotle" (Shaquille O'Neal) train us approximately sustained excellence and good fortune? Is women's basketball "better" basketball? How, ethically, may still one care for a strategic cheater in pickup basketball? With NBA and NCAA workforce rosters always altering, what does it suggest to play for the "same team"? What can training legends Dean Smith, Rick Pitino, Pat Summitt, and Mike Krzyzewski educate us approximately personality, success, and festival? What makes basketball this type of attractive video game to observe and play? Basketball is now the preferred staff recreation within the usa; every year, greater than 50 million americans attend university and seasoned basketball video games. while Dr. James Naismith, the inventor of basketball, first nailed peach baskets on the contrary ends of a Springfield, Massachusetts, gymnasium in 1891, he had little suggestion of the way completely the sport could form American -- and foreign -- tradition. Hoops superstars resembling Michael Jordan, LeBron James, and Yao Ming at the moment are immediately well-known celebrities all around the planet. So what can a gaggle of philosophers upload to the certainty of basketball? it's a particularly easy online game, yet as Kant and Dennis Rodman cherished to assert, appearances might be deceiving. trainer Phil Jackson actively makes use of philosophy to enhance participant functionality and to inspire and encourage his staff and his fellow coaches, either off and on the court docket. Jackson has built-in philosophy into his training and his own lifestyles so completely that it is usually tricky to tell apart his function as a basketball trainer from his position as a philosophical advisor and mentor to his avid gamers. In Basketball and Philosophy, a Dream crew of twenty-six basketball enthusiasts, so much of whom additionally ensue to be philosophers, proves that basketball is the considering person's activity. they give the impression of being at what occurs while the Tao meets the hardwood as they discover the teamwork, persistence, selflessness, and balanced and harmonious motion that make up the paintings of taking part in basketball.

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Small towns that took too much pride in themselves and discouraged their children from moving away could be narrow-minded and parochial in their outlook. Perhaps it is good that most of us identify with communities that are national, or even global, in their reach. A communitarian philosopher would disagree, but arguments about the importance of local community can quickly become colored by passionate rhetoric rather than careful analysis. Ironically, the very state that perfected small-town basketball has threatened its viability, so Indiana can be considered a laboratory of sorts for the plight of small-town sports in a culture obsessed with national fame.

From this it follows that we have a moral responsibility to promote diversity, not uniformity, in our collection of sports—assum- 38 R. Scott Kretchmar ing, of course, that we have an interest in promoting social justice via this method. Of course, a huge variety of sports and other kinds of games can be found across the globe and within the boundaries of any one country. It would seem that almost everyone, regardless of body shape, muscular strength, gender, age, wealth, or ethnicity, could find something suitable either to play or watch.

Basketball Purists 33 A False Test: Which Version Works Better? Some might argue that the debate over different versions of basketball can be resolved by examining which style works best—on the court, in face-to-face competition. If teams that play modern versions of basketball typically beat comparably skilled squads that use a purist style of play, then the former brand of basketball wins. Case settled! Likewise, if the purists who criticized our less-than-stellar Olympic effort or our loss in the FIBA semifinals can trace these poor performances to a lack of fundamentals, poor teamwork, too little patience, and other bedrock principles of purist basketball, then they will be proven right.

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