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The Art of War (and R&R)

The Art of War (and R&R)

During recent clinics, I’ve mentioned Kevin Eastman’s quote about the future of basketball – that it will be “position-less”. He’s not yet seen the Read & React and so I find it interesting that one of the best basketball minds in the coaching community “senses” where things are headed. I would love to see him wrap his mind around what you and I already know: the future is already here. The Read & React is position-less, formless, unpredictable and yet totally accountable and teachable. There’s no telling how Kevin would operate it – just like all the Tribe coaches; it looks different in everyone’s hands.

But that’s not what I want to point out today. His quote about “position-less basketball” brought other terms to my mind like “formless” and “unpredictable”. It reminded me of a quote about how your team should be like “water” and adapt its form according to the defense…

I found this quote today in THE ART OF WAR by Sun Tzu – and it struck me how close his language is to ours. You’d think he was talking to his Read & React team just before a game:

“Strike at their gaps; attack when they are lax; don’t let the enemy figure out how to prepare. This is why it is said that in military operations formlessness is most effective. One of the great Warrior-Leaders said, “The most efficient of movements is the one that is unexpected; the best of plans is the one that is unknown.”

…The military (team) has no constant form, just as water has no constant shape – adapt as you face the enemy, without letting them know beforehand what you are going to do.”

  • Strike at their gaps; attack when they are lax” – We call it a Draft Drive!
  • Don’t let the enemy figure out how to prepare” – Isn’t that Early Offense – the whole idea behind our Full Court Trips?
  • This is why it is said that …formlessness is most effective” – Layer 20 FLOW. Take advantage of the fact that your opponents are stuck in tradition – positions and sets.
  • The most efficient of movements is the one that is unexpected; the best of plans is the one that is unknown.” – Isn’t this a summation of the effectiveness and/or philosophy behind the Read & React?
  • …The military (team) has no constant form, just as water has no constant shape – adapt as you face the enemy, without letting them know beforehand what you are going to do.” – This is my argument for never leaving the Read & React; use it against ALL defenses – man, zone, junks, traps, full-court presses, etc.

Sun Tzu would have been a GREAT Read & React coach!

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