《禪師的籃框》

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《禪師的籃框》
作者:菲爾積遜

自問算不上是NBA的忠實球迷,因為近年已沒太關注賽事了。不過在20年前尚在中學時,倒是經常有收看直播。本地籃球評述員把球星都配上了創意十足的綽號,例如郵差馬龍、死光鎗漢拿錫,絕對是一代集體回憶。

那些年看NBA,其實就是看米高佐敦的盛世。誠如球評家黃興桂所言,看佐敦比賽確是「有今生無來世」的體驗。後來高比拜仁、勒邦占士的後浪,魅力仍難超越這位前輩。若要追本溯源,佐敦之所以有這一段輝煌,與名重一時的教練菲爾積遜有莫大關連。

《禪師的籃框》是積遜教練於1995年的著作,2006年再版。事隔多年,在2017年台灣推出全新中譯版,可見出版商認為這本書到今天仍具閱讀價值。1995年,積遜教練帶領芝加哥公牛已有數年,取得過三連冠後,卻連續兩季於季後賽失利。不知他當時有沒有料到,在此書出版之後,他及後又再為公牛取得另一次三連冠。

積遜教練之所以被稱為「禪師」,完全是因為他對禪學的嚮往已是廣為人知。在《禪師的籃框》中,他也細述了自己如何把禪學融匯於球隊管理。有人說,一支有佐敦在陣的球隊,無論誰當教練都會勝出。在書中,積遜教練正是花了不少篇幅來談如何避免過份依賴佐敦。籃球畢竟是團隊活動,單靠一人之力總難以成為年度總冠軍。

會選書給球員讀,會小組討論道德問題,在書中你會看到積遜這位勝率奇高的教頭執教方式是如何與別不同。不過對香港讀者來說,讀這本台灣新譯本不無遺憾——按台灣習慣翻譯的球員名字,讀起來難免有點不習慣。

Sacred Hoops: Spiritual Lessons of a Hardwood Warrior
Author: Phil Jackson

I’m not a loyal fan of the NBA and I haven’t followed the games much in recent years. But I did watch a lot of live games 20 years ago when I was in secondary school. Local basketball commentators used to dub NBA stars creative nicknames, like the “Mailman” (Karl Malone) and “Laser Gun” (Jeff Hornacek), which certainly make up a collective memory of my generation.

Michael Jordan’s prominence was the real reason I followed the NBA back in those days. It’s like what the sports pundit Peter Wong said, “Watching Jordan playing games is a ‘once in a lifetime’ experience”. The pure elegance of this athletic superstar is still unmatched, not even by Kobe Bryant or LeBron James. Behind the scenes, Jordan’s glory days had a lot to do with the legendary coach Phil Jackson.

Sacred Hoops: Spiritual Lessons of a Hardwood Warrior was written by Coach Jackson in 1995 and reprinted in 2006. After many years, Taiwan issued a new Chinese translation version in 2017, which showed how much the publisher recognized its value even today. In 1995, Coach Jackson had already led the Chicago Bulls to three consecutive championships, but the team then lost in the playoffs the following two seasons. It may be surprising that he led the Bulls to their second championship three-peat after the release of this book.

Coach Jackson’s well-known passion for Zen has garnered him the nickname – “Zen Master”. In Sacred Hoops, he detailed how he infused Zen philosophy into team management. Some people would say that a team with Jordan in it wins whoever the coach is. That’s why Coach Jackson described at length in this book about how to avoid over-relying on Jordan. After all, basketball is a team sport and no one-man team can win a championship.

In this book, you’ll see how Jackson – a coach with an exceptionally high win rate – coached his team in unique ways, such as choosing certain books for his players and holding group discussions on moral issues. The fly in the ointment is that this book adopted the Taiwanese translation of players’ names, which may sound a bit unfamiliar to Hong Kong readers.

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