Since turning down the Wolves in 09’, Ricky has added a Euro league title to a resume that already includes an Olympic silver medal, a Europa European Player of the Year Award, and countless other prestigious achievements.
As Ricky’s legacy grows, so does the longing of sports junkies worldwide, to see the young Spaniard grace the NBA hardwood.
I don’t feel the need to delve into the controversy surrounding Ricky’s decision to boycott the NBA and continue his development in Europe. I sympathize with Wolves fans —draft night blunders being a franchise forte- but the education he’s receiving playing at Barcelona will prove invaluable to any team Ricky ply’s his trade for in the states.
Ricky’s actions suggests his mind isn’t entirely focused on just basketball, nor should it be; he’s still a kid, and who can blame him for wanting to be at home around friends and family? Minnesota would have been a huge gamble, and there was no need to gamble.
When talking about the wolves, Ricky speaks with objectivity; "It's a young team that still needs to grow, that lacks experience now and even though this year it hasn't achieved many victories the players are evolving, and that's important".
In order for the Wolves to secure Rubio in 2011, they need to put the pieces in place now; “They may have only won 15 games, but they are in a moment of development and we have to see how they evolve next year because it's very important to be part of a team with vision. Let's see next year if things gel."
Opinions on Ricky’s excellence are clearly divided in the states; many experts question his physical toughness and his ability to defend athletic guards in a league that is built around isolating a defender 1 on 1.
However, Ricky posses the type of mental quickness that separates him from the bunch. It’s this quality that allowed a scrawny 14 year old Rubio to compete in the ACB and the same quality that allowed him to post a ridiculous near quadruple double in the under 16 European Championship final. This same quality will allow Ricky to be one of the most effective floor generals the league has ever seen.
I understand that this is old news to majority of readers; you’ve heard it all before, and you just want the chance to see for yourselves.
It’s vital for the league that Ricky starts his NBA career soon; the league has to be able to attract the world’s best talent, especially with the emergence of other countries and the success they are having at both the professional and international level.
Ricky is a winner who utilities every angle of a basketball court in a Steve Nash-esque style. His talents stretch beyond box score statistics and can only be appreciated when seeing firsthand how effortlessly he runs a team —frighteningly effortlessly for a teenager.
There are weaknesses, and the answers to these weaknesses can be found in the weight room —Ricky needs to get bigger and stronger and command more of a physical presence on the floor. His jump shot is also suspect- very mechanical, he doesn’t seem to have a natural stroke —but it’s getting more consistent each year.
An overall mature and articulate young man would be a welcome addition to the League at a time where narcissistic all-stars insist on making 3rd person references and staging huge ego-generated live shows about where they wish to play basketball.
Ricky isn’t perfect, but he certainly could be a perfect fit on many NBA rosters and provide a perfect example to millions on how the game should be played.