My short answer is: If your team can run ANY offense, then it can run the Read & React.
Sometimes the question comes in the form of a statement: “I don’t know if my team can run the Read & React. If they can’t, then I’m going to teach them something else.”
This question or statement tells me the same thing that it did the first time I heard it. It tells me that the person asking does not understand what the Read & React is.
Before I elaborate, let me say that I understand that there are plenty of offenses out there; so many that they can’t be numbered. I also understand that championships are won on a yearly basis with offenses other than the Read & React – but that tells me nothing, because regardless of what offense is used, someone is going to win. Whether that’s a function of their offense is another matter altogether!
I also understand that some coaches don’t want to put the time into learning a new way to structure practice and a new way to manage their offense. I understand that teaching what you already know is a lot easier than learning something new.
Let me answer the question WITH a question: What ARE you going to teach them when you teach them something other than the Read & React?
- Will your offense teach them how to pass to open players and not pass to guarded players? The first layer of Read & React does.
- Will your offense teach a player without the ball when to go back-door (if they’re over-played)? The first layer of Read & React does.
- Will your offense teach the players the difference between a high percentage drive opportunity versus a low percentage opportunity? The first layer of Read & React does.
- Does your offense teach spacing as a principle or does it demand it like the Read & React does?
Let’s look at this from another viewpoint. Regardless of what offense you choose, you will be teaching a layer or combination of layers of the Read & React. You can’t pick an offense that does something that the Read & React does not do.
Obviously, I’m writing to those coaches who are “on the fence” and can’t make a decision to mentally dive into the Read & React. For you coaches, I want to make a daring statement: Pick any traditional “offense” that you would like to see your players execute. My boast is that I can take a Read & React team, make a small verbal adjustment (in other words, no drilling, no practicing) and imitate your offense – at least the main scoring opportunities.
However, the Read & React team has one advantage over your team: If your offense doesn’t work, my Read & React team can continue to play and hunt for a scoring opportunity as a FIVE-PLAYER-COORDINATED UNIT.
Why am I so confident that I can make such a bold statement? Because the Read & React is ultimately and simply, basketball. And it contains every offensive action that can occur in the game. It doesn’t contain some of the possible offensive actions that occur in a game, it has ALL of the offensive actions. If the action is not addressed directly in a particular layer of the offense, then it can be found in a combination of layers in a particular formation.
So, when you decide to teach your team “another offense”, just remember that you would be teaching the same things in the Read & React. The difference will be that your players will have “part” of offensive basketball. They will accumulate disjointed pieces of offensive basketball. With the Read & React, they’ll learn how it all fits together, as a five-player-team, and they’ll become players instead of play-runners.
For the fence-sitters, I dare you to watch the Read & React completely through – from start to finish and open your mind to the possibility that you can learn something new, something exciting, and something that will change the way you approach the game forever.
I challenge you to join The Tribe.