Ricky Rubio Is Alive and Well in Spain
Blake Griffin, the consensus number one overall expected to run away with Rookie of the Year, will have to wait for 2010-11 to prove his mettle. Ricky Rubio, the Spanish wunderkind adored by millions, coveted by all, and flush with endorsement money before he even had a team, decided to stay abroad rather than play for the Timberwolves.
There was a buyout involved, too. Whether or not, at the time, this was just a bluff or leverage, Rubio spent the season back with Regal FC Barcelona, planning his next move.
Oh, and he also managed to win a EuroLeague championship this weekend in Paris, as his squad topped Olympiacos, 86-68, for all the bananas. Here's a good running recap from SLAM Online. Olympiacos is home to Josh Childress and Linas Kleiza, names familiar to NBA fans. Former Grizzlie Juan Carlos Navarro scored 21 points and took the Final Four MVP award. Rubio killed it in the semi against CSKA, but finished with less impressive numbers in the final; Navarro did nothing in the semi.
Some video appears to be in order. Here's Rubio's command performance against CSKA:
Yup, still looks like a guy every NBA team would like. The competition has certainly gotten stiffer from his 2009-mates, but if there were a re-draft today, you've got to figure Rubio would go ahead of Brandon Jennings, maybe even Tyreke Evans or Stephen Curry if a team were ultra-puritanical about guard roles. Or obsessed with marketing and image -- he smokes even the great Steph Curry in that department. Griffin still might go at the top. Then again, maybe not.
The point is, though, that while we haven't talked much about Ricky Rubio lately, he's holding ground -- even gaining it -- despite the overall success of his cohorts.