Ricky Rubio has only been in the NBA for a year, but he seems to have already taken Alexey Shved under his wing to get him acclimated to the changed pace of the NBA. In fact, he's even fine giving advice to his new Russian backcourt partner.
Shved has recently been struggling scoring, and it seems as if it's taken a toll on his game.
Where he was once a promising, yet inefficient young guard, he's now a struggling young guard who needs all the help he can to shake himself out of this rut.
In a game against the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday night, Shved was struggling again, making just one shot. Rubio decided to give him a bit of a push in the right direction.
It wasn't advice on his shot, just on how to approach the game. In case it's unclear, Rubio tells Shved:
Alexey! Change this face. Be happy. Enjoy!
Come on now, who's not going to smile when the world's first dime-dropping teddy bear tells you to change your face?
I'm pretty sure a pep talk like that from Rubio would get me to go out with the confidence that I could take on Kobe Bryant one-on-one. There's no way I would be right, but there would be a smile across my mug the entire time I was being torn apart.
The stoic Russian cracked a smile, and while the Lakers did go on to beat the Timberwolves, it's good to see this kind of camaraderie between two players who are from very different countries, speak different languages, but are in such similar shoes.