With the most championship wins in NBA history and a spot in the Basketball Hall of Fame, it's safe to say that retired coach Phil Jackson knows basketball. From his early days as an NBA player to his decades-long career as a coach, Jackson knows the ins and outs of the sport, the players and, as he explains to Oprah, the soulful nature of the game.
In this video from Jackson's upcoming appearance on "Super Soul Sunday," he and Oprah discuss his new memoir -- "Eleven Rings: The Soul of Success" -- in which he describes basketball using a word many people would be surprised to hear associated with the sport: spiritual. "Most people... never thought about the spiritual nature of the game of basketball," Oprah says to Jackson. "What is that spiritual nature?"
"It's such a great community that you have when you play the sport -- especially if you get to play it at a high level," Jackson replies. "There's a spirit among this connected group."
This spirituality isn't about religion, Jackson adds. "It's about the ability to incorporate other beings in your plans, in your system," he explains. "My best nature elevates their best nature."
The spiritual nature of basketball isn't just confined to the players on the court, Jackson says. It extends to spectators who also enjoy watching the game. "We see something that is a remarkable play and we want to see it over and over again because it brings an elevated spirit to us, that this is not just an individual action," Jackson tells Oprah.
Reading from Jackson's memoir, Oprah cites a passage where the retired basketball coach gets to the heart of this spirituality. "You say, 'Some coaches are obsessed with winning trophies. Others like to see their faces on TV. What moves me is watching young men bond together and tap into the magic that arises when they focus with their whole heart and soul on something greater than themselves. Once you experience that, it's something you never forget,'" Oprah reads. "That is the spirituality you're talking about."
"Yes, it is," Phil smiles.
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