I saw it on Thursday, the day before the start of a Dallas Mavericks' training camp that was not supposed to feature him for another week or so, the result of two surgeries on his left foot that have grounded the electric youngster for the better part of the last year-and-a-half: He was involved with drills supervised by Mavs assistant Robert Hackett, and along with Ian, Marion, Brewer and a small gang, Roddy B was ...
Rodrigue Beaubois was jogging, sprinting and wheeling with ease through agility drills punctuated by a series of five springy leaps to touch the backboard with two palms.
Roddy B did it quicker than the rest. Jumped higher than the rest, too.
"Oh,'' Beaubois started, "I feel good, except for a little ...'' ... And I thought to myself, "Uh-oh. Except for what possible disaster could this be?''
And then I realized the French-speaking Beaubois was searching for the English word "atrophy.'' He is overcoming some atrophy in his left leg due to being sidelined for most of the summer.
"That leg strength is coming back right away, though,'' Roddy B told me. "Therapy, running, walking. That's all it needs.''
We always enjoy our time with Roddy B, especially when we do as we did last spring by pulling the multilingual David Teel of Game Havens into the conversation ... and we all speak French ...
But this week is a different sort of fun. (Not that we don't enjoy eating dombre, as you can read here in the translation of that Video Visit.) Roddy B is FREE.
Once upon a time -- just over a year ago though it seems so much longer -- Beaubois was termed a "future superstar'' by many observers, including coach Rick Carlisle. A second surgery to his foot back in June marked yet another setback and if you have a bit of trepidation before trusting that Roddy B is fully ready to take over for JJB as the backup point guard or ready to replace Jet as the 2-guard scorer off the bench, well, Roddy B understands.
"I am overcoming (some concern) myself because at first you worry a little bit (about the condition of the foot,'' he said. "But I really started pushing it two weeks ago and there are no problems.''
Beaubois couldn't work with the Dallas medical staff during the lockout and couldn't even consult with one of his best friends, Mavs scout Luca Desta. And during the summer, lots of basketball activity was out of the question, too.
"I went bowling a lot,'' Roddy B says. "I spend most of my time in Dallas. I did go to (his native) Guadeloupe for about three weeks. And then I was in France only for a brief time before I got the call that (the lockout) was over.''
Roddy B was in France, he said, to examine playing for his former club, Cholet. His pal Ian Mahinmi was also playing in France after having served as Roddy B's bowling partner in Dallas.
"I was alone a lot of the time,'' Roddy B said, and went I offered up some mock sympathy (um, they got girls here in Dallas!) he told me he was serious. "I went to some movies by myself.''
Ah, movies. What did you see, Roddy B?
"Literally every movie that came out this summer,'' he said. "A lot of good ones. I saw all of them. The best one was probably 'Drive.''
How fitting. The 6-2 Beaubois' ability to get to the basket and finish provides him a skillset that was unusual to previous Mavs teams -- though that is less-so now. Yes, Barea is gone and the Mavs have a need at the backup PG behind Jason Kidd. But Rudy F and Vince Carter are perimeter players who can drive and create. On Friday, when Dirk and Carlisle both raved about Roddy B while also cranking up a bit of "it's-time'' pressure, the Mavs hadn't yet done all their shopping in ways that has changed the roster and may have alleviated the need for Roddy B to be free right away.
"The first thing I want to do is play,'' said Roddy B, indicating that he's not yet concerned about his position or his role. "It feels good just to play.''