As you continue to watch, on and on, this 19-year-old sensation of a point guard just gets better and better.
Not only does he establish himself as a champion in the Euro leagues, but his veteran savvy has him pulling all the strings on a team with veteran/established players.
He tied a final four Euro league record with eight assists, he also was named best point guard, has won numerous awards in the Euroleagues, and finally has even convinced the NBA analysts that David Kahn was right for not trading him, and letting him undergo some seasoning.
The progress that Rubio has made is immense. He went from a team where he was running the show with mediocre talent surrounding him, to a team with the very best the Euro leagues have to offer, and commanded their respect with a savvy that only Chris Paul/Deron Williams/Jason Kidd/Steve Nash/etc. could duplicate in the NBA.
Not only is he now a dime dropper, someone that amazes you with his court vision, but he's a leader at the age of 19, a true general on the floor, and is highly productive.
With that being said, it has come to my eyes that Rubio has the potential to be one of the marquee stars in the NBA when he does come from overseas.
Before the final four, Rubio had me convinced that he had all-star talent, and the ability to average 10 assists very easily in the NBA. But that, in my opinion, does not put him in the top five, or even top 10 players in the NBA.
Rubio's talent is incredibly unique. Not only is he incredibly fundamental, but he's one of the most entertaining players that you will ever see, and every time you watch him, he keeps you on your toes. How many players do you know have highlight reels on their passes alone? We are not talking about scoring, or showing off their three-point shot, or their dunks, we're talking purely just PASSING.
The reason for the potential? Rubio's fundamentals compliment his skills, but his desire and competitive fire propel him above and beyond. He's one of the only players I've seen fighting for loose balls on every possession, going for rebounds, getting into the passing lanes, making hustle plays on seemingly every play.
There are the stars, and there are the marquee. What separates Kobe Bryant from his predecessor's, is that his competitive nature won't allow him to lose, that's what separates Kobe from LeBron (sorry King!).
Ricky's highlights include his stellar perimeter defense, getting steals, and having a nose for the ball. Rarely, do you see Ricky make some crazy three-point shot, or do you see him dunk with crazy elevation (not that he could do it)? I don't think so.
He carries himself with some type of swagger that can't be described. He says, "I'm so shy, I don't like to be the center of attention." He steps on the court, and he is the center of attention. He's been noted to being the first one in the gym, and the last one out.
President of Basketball Operations David Kahn has stated something along the means of not wanting a player that isn't dedicated to making himself the best player he can be. Ricky Rubio is far from that, you get the sense that he wants to be the best point guard to play the game. He'll play without the ball, after he organizes the team. He gets the ball and makes a play when the offense falls out of scheme.
He understands offensive and defensive fundamentals, he can run pick and rolls, play fast paced and half court offense.
He attracts the media, online and offline, TV or radio. Most of the top Timberwolves articles were related to Ricky Rubio.
There's no doubt that he has that potential to be a marquee player. Wolves have invested their future into this one player, and despite him not even playing for them, people are starting to say it was the right decision, because the reasons for the decision are starting to take effect.
Well done Wolves. You may have your franchise player.
Now follow up, and get him over here after next season.