Even in his best years, Rajon Rondo has never been known as a shooter. That’s putting it kindly. He’s a career 26.1 percent three-point shooter with a jump shot so broken that teams don’t even bother defending him on the perimeter. And at 29 years old, we’re past the point of hoping for improvement.
But since his midseason trade from the Celtics to the Mavericks, Rondo has started working with Holger Geschwindner, the shooting guru responsible for the success of one of his new teammates—Dirk Nowitzki, one of the greatest shooters in the history of the game.
“If you want to work with Holger, now is the time,” Nowitzki told Rondo, mentioning that Rondo would be sidelined another week to 10 days due to facial fractures. “You’re more than welcome.”
As Nowitzki recalled the moment, he added: “And Holger obviously loves challenges in his life.”
Rondo’s unconventional, ineffective shooting stroke certainly represents a challenge. It’s always been the biggest flaw in the four-time All-Star’s game. That poor touch from the perimeter and midrange is the reason one of the NBA’s premier playmakers is an awkward fit in the Mavs’ free-flowing offense.
To his credit, Rondo, who earned a reputation for being difficult to coach in his younger years, embraced the opportunity to work with Dirk’s longtime mentor and shot doctor.
Frankly, it’s a little surprising that more of Nowitzki’s teammates haven’t worked with Geschwindner. If Hakeem Olajuwon can charge tens of thousands of dollars for summer workshops on post play, he should have a line out the door of the gym based on the success of Nowitzki, a future Hall of Famer and one of the greatest players of all time.
But if there’s anybody who needs some help with his shot, it’s Rondo. We’ll see what effect it has long-term.