When otherwise normal people are thrown into the harsh spotlight of celebrity, they respond in one of two ways: some opt to don oversized sunglasses and whimper about “overexposure” and “privacy” as they coyly pose for paparazzi shots prearranged by their publicist; others walk down the street in the middle of the day in the city that worships them, wearing a palette of primary colors.
Rajon Rondo embodies the second attitude. He arrives at a photo shoot in Boston in head-to-toe Nike gear: a bright-yellow jersey from Oak Hill Academy -- the basketball factory in Virginia where he played hoops during his senior year of high school -- a cherry-red, zipped-up sweatshirt, and, yes, Celtics-green shorts.
Frankly, the only person he’s out to impress is himself.
Against all odds, he manages not to look like an exploding clown. His fiancée and stylist, Ashley Bachelor, raises an eyebrow, but eventually gives an approving nod.
Rondo can pull off this look because, frankly, the only person he’s out to impress is himself. It takes a certain amount of confidence to be a sartorialist, and it’s the kind of moxie Rondo has in excess. He’s the basketball iconoclast who doesn’t dress how you expect or play how you expect.
Rondo learned how to play basketball on the hard courts, with an emphasis on the “hard” -- rough-and-tumble street basketball (or streetball), where style counts as much as deadly efficiency on offense.
Red Bull’s King of the Rock international streetball tournament showcases this style of play; after months of qualifiers around the world, the 64 remaining players faced off in one-on-one elimination rounds on Alcatraz. Rondo attended the final again this year, and for the first time, it will be televised on October 22 on CBS at 1:30 p.m. EST.
Check out the November issue of Red Bulletin magazine (on newsstands October 11) for more of the article. To read the magazine on your iPad, download the Red Bulletin iPad app.