Ricky Rubio, you have just been drafted number five overall by the Minnesota Timberwolves of the NBA, the greatest basketball league in the world. All your dreams of showcasing your flamboyant basketball skills on the greatest courts of the basketball world have finally been realized. You can finally showcase your art on a canvas against the best of the best and place yourself among the best of international players, and possibly the best in the NBA.
A day after the draft, Rubio’s father tells the press that there might be a possibility that Rubio stays in Spain and won’t play in the NBA. The average fan is now sitting there wondering why Rubio even showed up in New York for the draft with his new millennium Menudo/High School Musical hair cut.
There is so much going for Rubio and getting his beak wet in the NBA. International jersey and sneakers sales will go through the roof thanks to European sales. Rubio is going to make his money and more so than he ever could through a contract. Just like Real Madrid with all their high priced soccer players they sign, it’s not about the actual play on the pitch, it’s about sales in the sports stores. Unlike the way European soccer teams works, Rubio would hold the rights to his likeness and sales.
By Rubio setting himself up for a high profile debut in the future in he doesn't sign, he’s setting himself up for a gigantic fall if things don’t work out. America has enough egos and Primadonnas as it is, the fans of the NBA will have a hard time giving Rubio a fair shake if any further delays go on in bringing him here.
There is no doubt he’ll struggle immediately because of his style of play and inability to hit the consistent jump shot. Couple that with an already irritated fan base and his progression in the NBA will be further stifled.
Ricky, the NBA is fast and full of players capable of being flashy whether it’s making the Harlem Globetrotters or running with the And-One shoe crew. You have skills, your talented, and can make the flashy pass. It’s worked it Europe, and got you a bench spot on the Spanish national team, but you need to ease yourself into the league and gain respect through time and performance.
Spain’s national team superstar, Pau Gasol, was on Jim Rome’s national show last week and when asked about Rubio’s talents, Rome has to pull teeth to get a favorable comment about Rubio prior to the draft. Gasol was honest about his impression of the young Spaniard, but he didn’t have a lot of positives. He summed it up by saying Rubio had no jump shot, but that he could be a 10 assist guy if given the opportunity.
One would think that a fellow countryman would give a much better endorsement, but Gasol didn’t seem too impressed and seemed reserved in all commentary in an attempt to not say anything bad, which it sounded like he was dying to shout out some negative insights.
All comparisons to Pete Maravich need to stop right away as some of the media have cheered. Rubio could turn out to be a good player and may learn a jump shot, but the more he alienates himself to the NBA and it’s fans, the more he becomes a marked man when he arrives.
Other than Minnesota fans who are awaiting returns in trading their best player, Randy Foy, America is getting close to telling Rubio to stay in Spain forever.