When it comes to the young Spanish "Superstar" there remain so many intangibles....not including his eyebrows.
These beco me more and more confusing as time passes......so let's rewind to summer 2009, just after the NBA draft.
David Kahn, according to ESPN, has spent all summer trying to carve out some sort of solution to the Rubio contract complexities and eventually has to abandon hope of Rubio joining the Twolves in the immediate future.
"Of course there's disappointment, but I don't think that disappointment should overshadow the big picture, which is, he's still so young," Kahn told ESPN. "It appears now we will have a two-year wait. But if you frame it as he'll be 20 years old and he'll have two more years to develop, I can think of a lot worse things to happen to us as a franchise."
"Two more years to develop.." hold that thought and let's push the fast forward button to 2011.
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Ricky Rubio now plays for Regal FC Barcelona, there is serious talk of a lock-out in the 2012 NBA season and all of a sudden there are rumblings of disquiet from the camp of "La Pistola"
Let's examine the playing side first. Rubio is, to all intents and purposes, on a bit of slide. His stats show that it would come as no surprise if he was secretly wearing a Twolves uniform under the red and blue of Barca. Now, I'm not what you could call a well versed student of the European game but one thing I do know is that, in Europe, there tends to be less emphasis on individual achievement - the "team" is the over-arching factor and ofcourse the all important "W" at the end of play.
Rubio pushes this mantra in just about every interview he gives...fair enough....he's trying to be a good team player.
However, in the NBA and especially in Minnesota, he will be expected to assume control of games and lead from the point....quite often lifting an ailing team up by its bootstraps. So, how is this the perfect learning curve for Ricky and how will it help him to develop into the strong-willed, swaggering, creative genius that large sections of Twolves fans expect. This is a quantum leap for Rubio and he must be watching how the "already young" Timberwolves are coping and not enjoying what he is watching.
The lock-out is a serious element in Rubio's unwillingness to commit....I don't think I need to waste time going over the ins and outs of that. Basically this is money driven and center around the trickiness of Ricky being a rookie...it'll be what it'll be.
The third and most damaging angle to the Rubio scenario is that his head is most definitely being turned by overtures from a variety of NBA sources. Mark Cuban admits to being "high" on him and there seems to be an affinity developing between the Rubio family and the Eastern seaboard..Boston emerging as a Rubio family favourite....even those pesky scamps in Miami are getting in on things.....Mario Chalmers and Mike Bibby can do that to a team.
No matter what Ricky says, being told how good you are will eventually become a reality in your mind...factor in that he's a kid and this get multiplied x10.
So where does that leave us?
I'm not quite sure.
There are so many elements that need to fall into place over the summer that it is almost impossible to predict what will happen but ultimately what happens in the 2011 draft will go a long way to helping Minnesota decide on Rubio. That in itself is a chilling thought when you know that David Kahn is sitting there with serious wood for the Spaniard.....
My head hurts.
Nice post Kevin and welcome aboard. I tink the biggest thing with Rubio is it will probably take him 1-2 years yet to adapt to the NBA game. I expect his first year to be very underwhelming relative to the expectations that have been set on him. This is okay with me, I guess. However, with his court vision and passing ability, it is hard to believe he wouldn't make an immediate (positive) impact.
But of course the lockout is the elephant in the room in this whole situation. If the lockout happens I just don't see any way he comes over. Kahn is once again treading on dangerous waters all but guaranteeing his addition to the roster next season.
@WallyWorld Ricky is going to be a great facilitator, but I'm not sure if he'll truly be a "franchise" player in the sense of him putting a team on his back and carrying them to the post-season, like we've seen with CP3. I think that's the expectation that some have.
Ricky is going to need scorers to pass to and would likely need to be the second banana on a contending team. He should be a solid #2, and K. Love a very solid #3. I was really hoping that this year's draft didn't stink so badly and we could somehow get our #1. That doesn't look very promising. If only we had a 1st rounder next season...
@WallyWorld I concur, welcome aboard TWB Kevin! Good to have you, and nice article. I still have pretty high hopes for Rubio, despite his less than stellar stats of late. Luckily for us, I think his game is mature and should transfer nicely to the NBA. It's not like we'd be adding some kid straight out of high school like back in the day before the 1 year rule. And yes, the lockout could put a huuuuge kink in all these plans. Hard to know yet.