The basketball world has fallen in love with Rajon Rondo, and it’s easy to understand why. He goes about playing the game in a one-of-a-kind way, and while his one-of-a-kind way can be frustrating at times, it tends to be equally entertaining. Yesterday night Rondo led the Celtics to a game three victory over the Heat, and made every highlight show in America as he did it. Late in the third quarter, with Boston well into the process of building their eventual 24-point lead, Rondo fooled Udonis Haslem with his signature ball fake, then finished at the rim. A nifty play indeed, but… well, you see where I’m going with this.
Rondo does this same damn move over and over and over again. It’s a cool trick, and he’s turned it into an effective way of creating space in the lane, but a little variety wouldn’t hurt!
I’m not saying Rondo needs to retire his favorite move. Like I said, it’s quite effective. However, he could fit a few more tricks up the sleeves of that goofy f@ckin’ jacket, don’t you think? Here are five moves I think Rondo ought to practice this summer…
#5: Killer Crossover
Rajon Rondo is a fantastic ball handler, but you won’t often see him snap an ankle with a traditional crossover. I think it would behoove him to add one to his arsenal. Although those who use the killer cross proficiently make it look simple, it’s a difficult move to learn. The head, shoulders, hands, and feet must work in unison to execute it properly. Still, I’m confident that Rondo could master the crossover with one offseason of steady practice.
I don’t know how familiar you all are with the world of streetball, but I was all about it before I got into NBA basketball. One of my favorite ball handlers was Larry Williams, aka “The Bone Collector.” Williams employs an interesting, methodical approach to basketball where he sort of hypnotizes defenders before he blows by them with a sudden burst of quickness. Check the 30-second mark of the video embedded above and you’ll notice that he’s got this one hesitation move where he sort of pops up from his crouched position, staggers his feet, then goes (see it used in this video, too, against Jamaal Tinsley). It’s a rather subtle trick, but I’ve never seen anyone else do it quite like Bone Collector. It would be fun to see someone bring this Rucker Park classic to the hardwood, and Rajon Rondo would be a prime candidate.
#3: Crazy Legs
This one doesn’t serve much of a purpose beyond blowing the mind of every spectator in the building, but I think Rondo ought to learn it and bust it out as he dribbles up the floor. Why not? It’s perfectly legal, and it’s a lot cooler than a football snap.
#2: Variant Ball Fake
Repetitive ball faking is what got me started on this discussion, so I figured I’d better recommend an alternative method of fake passing. If Rondo were to learn to use this move as effortlessly as Chris Paul has he’d have another option when looking to clown someone with an artificial dish. This one is particularly handy because it can be used in any situation where it appears as though the ball could be dropped to a trailing player.
#1: The Shammgod
When done correctly, God Shammgod’s signature move is equal parts spectacular and effective. However, it’s rarely seen in the NBA… or anywhere, for that matter. Manu Ginobili has been known to do it from time to time, but he doesn’t pull it off with quite as much flair as the originator. Rajon Rondo ought to enlist Shammgod himself to teach him how to execute the move with all of its intended style. Then Mike Breen’s uneducated ass can go and call it a “one-handed crossover.”