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"IN RONDO WE TRUST"

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Rondology: Each Must Find Their Zen

Posted by paul on August 13, 2012 at 6:45 AM



I think Avery Bradley gave us the best insight into the relationship between Allen and Rondo that anyone has given.  

Bradley called Ray "a great tutor," even after student surpassed student:

"He would tell me, going back to being consistent, he would tell me to shoot the same shot -- that my jump shot should be like my 3-pointer, and that's what I focused on every time I would shoot before or after practice," Bradley said. "It was funny, when I wouldn't do it, he would always get up and say something to me. Like, 'That's not how you shoot jumpers.' He would always call me out."

 

Of course Bradley is talking about his relationship with Allen, not Rondo's relationship with Allen,  but one has to suppose that Allen's dealings with Rondo were similar.  How responsive would Rondo be to this kind of 'teaching'?  


One of the reasons I love Rondo is that I see him as a player who really appreciates creativity, spontaneity and the unexpected.  Rondo is someone who loves hitting a crazy fallaway shot from a randomly chosen spot on the floor over two flying Bigs.  Ray Allen is   a guy who likes his spots, likes his screens, likes his perfect timing, wants to achieve the same form, same result,  every every time.  You could hardly have two more opposite players.  What's striking is how well these two guys seemed to bring out the best in each other at times.  Some of the most unforgettable plays we have ever seen were Rondo to Allen plays.


When I look back on basketball history, there's one thing I don't particularly like about Larry Bird.  Up until Bird, people didn't think that there was only one way to shoot a basketball.  Since Bird, it's been taken for granted that there is one way to shoot, and everyone needs to shoot that one way every time if they want to be a shooter, and the whole point of practice is to shoot the exact same way every time, schooling one's body.   As much as I appreciate that approach to shooting, I've never been happy with the way it took over.  It's too rote.  It contradicts the essential nature of basketball, which in my view has everything to do with flow, spontaneity and creativity.  Nowadays every youngster has rote shooting drilled into them.  


In my basketball days, I loved studying the way other people shot the basketball, and I loved the fact that everyone had something slightly different about the way they did it, and I loved the challenge of trying to find my own peculiar way.    I never tried to shoot the ball exactly the same way twice.  In fact, I loved the challenge of trying to release the ball in different ways, if only to be less predictable.  I was convinced that the key to shooting a basketball was intention.  Intention is the key to everything in life.  When we fail to do something, it's usually because we weren't really trying to do that thing.   Rote shooting tries to bypass the issue of intentionality by establishing engrained habits.  It's a good technique, but I really liked the challenge of trying to sort through what I was really trying to do each time I shot the ball.


It's such an interesting process.  Everytime one asks oneself, 'what am I really trying to do right now', it raises up a thicketed maze of existential issues and anxieties.  What is one really trying to do, to accomplish, at any moment in life?  What is one's true authentic wish at any single moment? I loved missing shots, as frustrating as it was to miss, because it gave me a chance to think about what tricks my mind would play.  Often I felt it had to do with the way I imagined space.  See, it's incredibly hard to focus one's on an empty space, which is what a basketball goal is.   One's mind almost rebels at gazing into the emptiness, even for a fraction of a second.  It's much easier to focus on the rim, and that's pretty much why so many shots at the basket clang out;  the shooter is really aiming at the rim, not at the empty space contained within the rim.


Shooting is a fascinating art.  I can appreciate the way Allen approaches it, and the particular zen he finds in his endless search for perfection, where perfection means doing it the same way every time.  I appreciate Rondo's approach even more.  His opponents never quite know what he will do, because he never quite knows.  He shoots more crazy shots that somehow go in than Kobe does! Sometimes it's like he can 'see' a multidimensional gravity that will pull his crazy basketball off the top of the backboard and roll it down into the basket.  Other times, he can't knock down a layup.  


Incredibly, and wonderfully, Allen's and Rondo's opposite zens would find a way to mesh together.  I don't think Allen quite appreciated how special that was.  Allen felt unappreciated, but did he appreciate what he had, what he walked away from?  I think something deep inside Allen was involved, some bitterness that goes far beyond Rajon Rondo, and Danny Ainge, and even basketball.  In the end, he just couldn't get over the sheer difference between him and Rondo, even their different mentalities could come together so incredibly beautifully at times.

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15 Comments

Reply Franklin
9:50 AM on August 13, 2012 
I also loved to study different players and their shot. Reggie Miller had the ugliest shot. Ray has no emotions,so he wouldn't understand how special it was Paul.
Reply Birdman33
11:07 AM on August 13, 2012 
I wonder if Ray will have the same attitude in Miami? Since he's their 4th or 5th option now.
Reply paul
11:59 AM on August 13, 2012 
Franklin says...
I also loved to study different players and their shot. Reggie Miller had the ugliest shot. Ray has no emotions,so he wouldn't understand how special it was Paul.


you are right, Franklin. He acts like he has no emotion.

Reggie had the ultimate praying mantis shot, didn't he?
Reply paul
12:00 PM on August 13, 2012 
Birdman33 says...
I wonder if Ray will have the same attitude in Miami? Since he's their 4th or 5th option now.



Isn't that so weird? It's not like he goes from the sixth man role with us to starting for Miami!!!
Reply Celitcslifer
2:00 PM on August 13, 2012 
paul says...
Isn't that so weird? It's not like he goes from the sixth man role with us to starting for Miami!!!

He doesn't have any pressure. He's just there. Nothing to prove. You hit some good buttons here Paul
Reply paul
4:38 PM on August 13, 2012 
Celitcslifer says...
He doesn't have any pressure. He's just there. Nothing to prove. You hit some good buttons here Paul


Thankyou Celtislifer. I think he sees it as an ideal situation for him in that he can almost be like a robot. Find your spot, Wait for the kickout from Lebron or Wade. Hit shot. In some ways it looks like a very cunning move for Allen.
Reply Cisco
1:31 PM on August 14, 2012 
Nice post, Paul! Fortunately, we're all different. So are NBA players. And yes, so are Rondo and Ray Allen. Each of them, an artist. Rondo creating, innovating, in search for a crazy, unpredictable play. Allen shooting, searching for the perfect move, the perfect mechanic.
Personally, I prefer Rondo's art. Don't get me wrong. I do appreciate Ray's perfectionism and like his shooting. But I just prefer Rondo's art. Rondo is an innovator. He makes basketball fun to watch. Unexpected, spectacular and emotional. I enjoy that, above all.
Reply paul
6:13 PM on August 14, 2012 
Cisco says...
Nice post, Paul! Fortunately, we're all different. So are NBA players. And yes, so are Rondo and Ray Allen. Each of them, an artist. Rondo creating, innovating, in search for a crazy, unpredictable play. Allen shooting, searching for the perfect move, the perfect mechanic.
Personally, I prefer Rondo's art. Don't get me wrong. I do appreciate Ray's perfectionism and like his shooting. But I just prefer Rondo's art. Rondo is an innovator. He makes basketball fun to watch. Unexpected, spectacular and emotional. I enjoy that, above all.


Cisco, I think that Rondo actually learned a lot from Allen. I think he learned to be more disciplined. Unfortunately, I think Allen expects him to be disciplined the same way that Allen is.
Reply Morena
11:34 AM on August 15, 2012 
Sorry for the late comment but I couldn't check my computer every day.
this is a really beautiful piece.
I love how you talked about the shooting art.
thank you for letting me see the shooting in a different way.
Now, I'll enjoy it even more.
Reply paul
1:37 PM on August 15, 2012 
Morena says...
Sorry for the late comment but I couldn't check my computer every day.
this is a really beautiful piece.
I love how you talked about the shooting art.
thank you for letting me see the shooting in a different way.
Now, I'll enjoy it even more.


Thanks Morena. No one appreciates the art of basketball more than you do, as far as i can tell. Do you have other favorite sports?
Reply Morena
2:42 PM on August 15, 2012 
paul says...
Thanks Morena. No one appreciates the art of basketball more than you do, as far as i can tell. Do you have other favorite sports?


Thank you for writing that beautiful piece.
I'm gonna save that and re-read it many times.

I love sports and I really try to appreciate the artistic part of it.. because even if many people don't see it, sport IS art sometimes.
I always try to look for something special and I love studying it.
It's not a long time since I've started to really appreciate basketball, but I absolutely love it!!
Another sport that I've started to study recently is baseball, and a little bit of football too..
Reply paul
3:14 PM on August 15, 2012 
Morena says...
Thank you for writing that beautiful piece.
I'm gonna save that and re-read it many times.

I love sports and I really try to appreciate the artistic part of it.. because even if many people don't see it, sport IS art sometimes.
I always try to look for something special and I love studying it.
It's not a long time since I've started to really appreciate basketball, but I absolutely love it!!
Another sport that I've started to study recently is baseball, and a little bit of football too..



It's so obvious, though, isn't it, that sports is in some ways an art. Gene Kelly made a little movie once about this. I think Russell or Cousy was in it. He had famous athletes show him their signature moves and then he turned them into a dance. Oh it was Cousy, and it was called Dancing Is A Man's Game.

"His first foray into television was a documentary for NBC's Omnibus, Dancing is a Man's Game (1958) where he assembled a group of America's greatest sportsmen ? including Mickey Mantle, Sugar Ray Robinson and Bob Cousy ? and re-interpreted their moves choreographically, as part of his lifelong quest to remove the effeminate stereotype of the art of dance, while articulating the philosophy behind his dance style.[6]"
Reply Morena
3:51 PM on August 15, 2012 
paul says...
It's so obvious, though, isn't it, that sports is in some ways an art. Gene Kelly made a little movie once about this. I think Russell or Cousy was in it. He had famous athletes show him their signature moves and then he turned them into a dance. Oh it was Cousy, and it was called Dancing Is A Man's Game.

"His first foray into television was a documentary for NBC's Omnibus, Dancing is a Man's Game (1958) where he assembled a group of America's greatest sportsmen ? including Mickey Mantle, Sugar Ray Robinson and Bob Cousy ? and re-interpreted their moves choreographically, as part of his lifelong quest to remove the effeminate stereotype of the art of dance, while articulating the philosophy behind his dance style.[6]"

To me, it's obvious.
But it seems difficult for many people to see it.

Thank you for the movie!! I'm gonna watch that one!!
Reply paul
6:35 PM on August 15, 2012 
Morena says...
To me, it's obvious.
But it seems difficult for many people to see it.

Thank you for the movie!! I'm gonna watch that one!!


It's just a television episode, I think, along the lines of a demonstration. It's on Youtube.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rd70iqK_bsU
Reply Morena
1:55 PM on August 20, 2012 
paul says...
It's just a television episode, I think, along the lines of a demonstration. It's on Youtube.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rd70iqK_bsU


I finally managed to see this video!!
Too many times, when I write comments, I use the word "wonderful"
Many people use this word to describe beautiful things.

But there are times in my life, when I see something like the video you posted above and the only word that comes to my mind is "wonderful".
There are times when I really understand the meaning of this word.

Some people, or some artist if we want to call them with the correct name, can be described only with the word wonderful.