There's a scene in The Rock in which Sean Connery's character, John Mason, nearly does a spit take when he finds out that Alcatraz, where he was once "formerly a guest" is no longer a maximum security prison. "The Rock," he says, "has become a tourist attraction?"
I wonder what Mason would say about Red Bull King of the Rock, the 64-man one-on-one basketball tournament Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo hosted on Alcatraz Saturday. ESPN Boston's Chris Forsberg has the details:
Rondo dubbed the location, "one of the coolest and most unique places you could possibly play basketball."
Rondo and [agent Bill] Duffy spoke on a 20-minute boat ride Saturday night to Alcatraz, where Rondo hosted the Red Bull King of the Rock tourney, a 64-man 1-on-1 competition, a first of its kind on the former island prison in San Francisco Bay. Red Bull spent more than six years trying to secure permission for the event from the National Parks Service, which rarely makes "The Rock," as Alcatraz is known, available for private events.
Isaiah "Clutch" Bowman, 25, from Inglewood, won the first-place prize of $10,000. A 30-minute telecast of the event will be shown next month on several West Coast networks, including Fox Sports Net and Comcast Sports Bay Area. Surrounded by high, crumbling concrete walls, floodlights casting eerie shadows across the old prison yard and gusts of fog swirling around the contestants and invitation-only fans, the competition was as much about perseverance as it was pure talent.
"I made history on The Rock!" Bowman shouted, hoisting his trophy shortly after 11 p.m.
I just hope Rondo greeted the participants by saying, "Welcome to The Rock." (In a Scottish accent.) The logistics of the tourney are still hazy to me. But I assume it went down like this, but with a basketball instead of a soccer ball: