Better Basketball logo

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!

Read & React 5-Player Coordination Drills

Enter your email address to get an inside look at teaching the Read & React Offense with the drills in this free video.

Winning Systems

Explore Courses

About Rick Torbett

Rick Torbett has taught thousands of coaches to win more games through his innovative approach to the game. He has created powerful training for coaches at any level so they can coach their best and win more games.

Follow Us

Read & React 5-Player Coordination Drills

Enter your email address to get an inside look at teaching the Read & React Offense with the drills in this free video.