Does the name Yi Jianlian ring a bell? For those of you who have forgotten of his existence, he was the “all-world,” Chinese sensation that thought enough of himself to hold the Milwaukee Bucks hostage following last season’s NBA Draft, because he wanted the right to decide which NBA city was the best fit for his night-life.
Once all of the hype of an impressive summer league outing had worn off, we were exposed to the truth, and the truth was that this “young” guy, was nothing more than a 6’11, soft, jump shooter, who wanted absolutely nothing to do with life in the paint, and the Bucks quickly became supportive of the notion that Yi “deserved” the right to play in a different city, before shipping him off to New Jersey.
Now we have this year’s “Great European Hope,” in the form of Ricky Rubio, threatening to stay in Spain if the Minnesota Timberwolves refuse to trade his rights to a team in a major market. Ladies and gentlemen, let’s view this situation for what it really is, and the fact that it has very little to do with the city of Minnesota.
Following the NBA draft, Rubio and his father had a heart-to-heart discussion, and they both realized that by reporting to Minnesota, not only would Ricky end up playing for one of the worst teams in the NBA, but that he’d also be third on the depth chart, behind two tough-as-nails New York kids, who were both eager to take his heart.
Those who fell in love with Rubio based upon his performance against the Redeem Team; need only Google, “Shea Seals,” to get an idea of just how much stock you should invest in players who play well against Olympic All-Star teams.
I know what you’re thinking right now, “Shea Seals?” My apologies, and I should explain this reference. Shea Seals was a scorer while in college, playing for a relatively unknown team at Tulsa University. As a member of the college team that helped prep the sophomore version of the Dream Team for the 1996 Olympics, Seals went off in the game featuring the pros vs. the amateurs, prompting Charles Barkley to remark following the game that, “This kid just made himself a ton of money.”
Well, in actuality, Shea ended up being a second-round pick for the Los Angeles Lakers, played in four games with the team, and is now coaching high school basketball. What NBA scouts and teams realized after watching Shea against “real” NBA talent, was that he was all hype, and very little substance. This will be the same case with Ricky Rubio.
Ricky Rubio has no jump shot, plays horrible defense and in the tradition of most European players that make the jump to the NBA, he is relatively soft. There is absolutely no chance of his having the toughness necessary to play in the NBA ahead of Sebastian Telfair, and/or John Flynn.
To add insult to injury, Ricky would be sitting in street clothes for the worst team in the league. Father knows best.