This is my review of the best basketball books in 2021.

Playing basketball is great, but there are times when you won’t be able to play.

Being cooped up inside on a rainy day can keep you off the court, but gives you a perfect opportunity to dive into an amazing basketball book.

So whether you want to pick up a good book for your next road trip, or want a book for the basketball fan in your life, you’ve come to the right place.

We’re going to take a look at a couple of the best basketball books on the market today, in no particular order.

Who Should Get This?

Basketball books are great for you if you enjoy basketball or sports in general. Many are incredibly well written and will be very relatable to you.

However, in addition to just being about basketball, many basketball books also feature other themes as well. Of course, there are also basketball books about the lives and careers of your favorite players.

If you enjoy reading and/or basketball, we are sure some of our suggestions and selections below will appeal to you.

Of course, if you’re not a big reader or prefer a different genre, then these might not be for you.

9 Best Basketball Books to Read

1. Relentless: From Good to Great to Unstoppable


Relentless was written by legendary trainer Tim Grover and is one of the best books to read if you want to improve as a player.

This book is all about Grover tapping into what separates a good player from a great one, both mentally and physically.

It is a very blunt and honest book, from the man who helped take the likes of Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant to new heights.

It takes you inside the minds of some of the best players out there and how they went from good to great.

2. Hoop Dreams


While you might know Hoop Dreams as a documentary, it is also a pretty incredible book. The story focuses on William Gates and Arthur Agee, two high school basketball players with huge aspirations.

It gives you a real look at the struggle and sacrifices young players make to succeed.

The book takes you on a journey from their beginning on the streets of Chicago to their eventual college recruitment.

The story you learn about touches on many different issues such as education, social classes, and race.

3. The Last Shot: City Streets, Basketball Dreams


The Last Shot is a book all about some promising basketball players from the streets of Coney Island. They are talented but face a ton of difficulties along their journey.

The book gives you an inside look at the dedication these players have, as well as the struggles they endure.

It shows an authentic look at NYC streetball and culture alike. You will also meet some outstanding characters throughout the book, that you are sure to remember forever.

4. The Book of Basketball


Bill Simmons is one of the most opinionated and familiar faces in basketball today. He has a wealth of knowledge and is just as entertaining as he is intelligent.

This book features content on the past, present, and future of the NBA.

He covers many different hot topics in basketball, gives his takes and makes the entire journey entertaining from cover to cover.

You might not agree with everything he says, but that’s part of the fun.

5. Eleven Rings: The Soul of Success


There have been some successful coaches and executives in the NBA, but few have ever achieved more than Phil Jackson.

In this book, Jackson tells you about his journey from small town North Dakota to the pinnacle of success, winning 11 NBA Championships.

You’ll learn about his unique style of coaching, how he learned about team chemistry, the importance of mindfulness and so much more.

Jackson truly changed the game when it came to coaching, and this book will show you exactly how.

6. The Breaks of the Game


Written by the late great David Halberstam, this book looks at the Portland Trail Blazers during the 1979-80 season.

The book gives you an inside look at a struggling NBA team only a few seasons after winning a championship.

This book might be one of the best at simply looking at the NBA itself. It looks at the game of basketball, of course, but also other issues like power, money, corruption, and greed.

While it deals with a team from many decades ago, the messages inside the book are still relevant to this day.

7. Pacific Rims


While basketball is popular all around the world, this book shows you just how much the people of the Philippines love the sport.

The book was written by a journalist after his journey through the country where he spoke with all different types of basketball players and fans of the game.

From the streets to the professional leagues, Rafe Bartholemew takes you on a journey through basketball in the Philippines.

You’ll learn about everything from politicians promising basketball courts for votes, to a wild traveling basketball show and experience.

8. The Jordan Rules


The Jordan Rules gives you an inside look at the greatest of all time that you’ve likely never seen before.

This book looks at the power struggles Jordan went through, and provides a portrait of the man, not just the basketball player.

The big reason this book is so legendary is for all the information it leaks for you. It spoke about his feuds behind the scenes, internal struggles and so much more.

If you are a big Michael Jordan fan, you owe it to yourself to check this book out.

9. My Losing Season: A Memoir


When your team loses, it’s never a fun time, but there are always lessons to be learned. At its core, that is what this book focuses on.

In this memoir Pat Conroy, a former captain and point guard of the Citadel Bulldogs takes you on a path down memory lane.

The book looks at both the highs and lows of his senior season, as well as a number of other themes like abuse, overcoming adversity, teamwork and so much more.

It is incredibly well written and will keep you interested throughout.

Useful Reading Tips

When reading a book, you might not be immediately drawn into it. But instead of tossing it away and doing something else, give the book a chance to develop and tell the story a little bit.

Some books take longer to get into the drama or action than others.

Reading a book can be great, but losing your place isn’t. As a result, always be sure to use a bookmark or fold the page.

Also, be sure to read at your own pace. Whether you like to read a book in a day, or stretch it out over a month, the choice is yours. There is no right or wrong way to read a book.

Finals Words

Getting lost in a good basketball book is great, and many can teach you about more than just basketball.

Do you have a basketball-related book that you feel deserves a spot in this article? If so, be sure to tell us about it in a comment!