A number of news agencies picked up on a story yesterday that the Minnesota Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor had his Parisian meeting advances rejected by the family of his 2009 draft pick Ricky Rubio.
Naturally the story has been twisted, even on Bleacher Report where Hardcourt Mayhem is using the slightly dramatic headline “Ricky Rubio to never play with the Minnesota Timberwolves”. Elsewhere online, it was claimed on NBC Sports: “The Wolves should start trying to move the rights to Rubio immediately, as it just doesn't seem like he's seriously considering ever playing for Taylor, David Kahn or Kurt Rambis.”
It’s funny, then, that he’s been on the record saying the exact opposite, and is sticking to his original plan that he made clear as soon as the Timberwolves drafted him. This is very strange. Nobody doubted if Tiago Splitter was actually going to play for the San Antonio Spurs, or if he would somehow force a trade/never play in the NBA.
One has to ask: Is there a negative motivation for all this negative Timberwolves talk, just a couple of days after the Timberwolves scrimmage sessions proved the squad is stronger than everyone is giving them credit for? Surely media agencies aren’t doing anything they can to take a swipe at the Timberwolves, now that David Kahn has taken himself out of the spotlight?
The origin for the Rubio story that everyone is quoting is Newsday, who themselves claim:
‘Reports out of Minnesota say Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor is trying to get Ricky Rubio's parents to meet him in Paris, where the Wolves play the Knicks on Wednesday, for dinner so they can discuss their son's plans for the NBA. Apparently, The Rubios aren't interested in having dinner with Taylor and the T-Wolves. If Taylor were to invite the Knicks to the table, perhaps they'd reconsider?’
Out of the 67 words of that no doubt made up trash talk, the word that should catch your eye is ‘apparently’. When a news report has ‘apparently’ at the start of a sentence, and doesn’t include any official quotes, it’s usually always fishy. One could just as easily write:
"Apparently the Taylor family and the Rubio family sat down to eat in a lavish Parisian restaurant near the Eiffel Tower. Over wine and tart tatin, they exchanged pleasantries and discussed the exciting future of Ricky Rubio.
"Apparently the Rubio family can’t wait for him to join the Minnesota Timberwolves, and to test himself against some of the best players in the world – naturally, the Knicks were not mentioned. Purportedly, an onlooker commented “they purchased three bottles of very expensive white wine, and I heard them laughing at a lot. It looks like a match made in heaven.”
For the record, that last paragraph is all lies, allegedly.