Words and I get along pretty well. At least we used to. It used to be that when I needed the right words for an occasion, the right words would oblige by making themselves readily available.
Oh, but not now. Words have taken a sick day. Words are playing hooky out in the glorious sunshine while I sit here trying to properly capture Rajon Rondo's performance from last night.
So its just me and this game tape.
Rewind. Pause. Play…. I see Rondo there twirling, faking, bouncing and floating… and I'm just left sitting here slack-jawed.
Rewind. Pause. Play…. He looks one way but goes another, fitting the ball through holes only a ball can fit through. He rests perfectly bounced passes into impossible slots and into the hands of teammates who didn't even know they were open until the ball was there. He confuses world class athletes by creating the illusion that 99% of him will be doing a certain thing, only to have that other 1% do something totally different.
And still I just shake my head.
Pause. Groan. Shake my head in the happiest form of frustration I've ever felt.
How can I tell someone that didn't see this that it happened? How, when I'm old and telling some teenager "you don't know great… I'LL tell you about great," can I convey this story without that kid walking away thinking "that's one crazy old man"?
I can't. It's not possible. Because what Rajon Rondo did yesterday can only be described by using the things we saw during the game. You can only describe Rondo by saying "Cleveland was Rondo'd."
Not exactly Shakespearean prose, but it's all we've got.
What we're really looking at here is something like the birth of a language. Once upon a time, someone somewhere picked up something and made a sound. Up until that moment, that sound was associated with nothing. But now it's associated with that thing.
So really… the words that properly describe what Rondo did last night didn't exist until last night. The words that describe what Rondo did last night were the sounds you made when he did what he did. Whatever hodgepodge of grunts, groans, clasped-hands-on-your-head exultations, and astonished expletive-combinations you made… THAT'S what properly describes what Rajon did to Cleveland.
Whatever those were, that's it. There's no other way to describe what Rondo did because he really did have me speaking in tongues. I made sounds I've never made before, all because this 6'1" kid took over the reins from a group of aging Hall of Famers and did unfathomable things. Those sounds, all of our sounds, are the collective new words that can only describe the previously indescribable Rajon Rondo from May 9, 2010.
I probably should have written some of those down.