Ricky RUBIO “LA PISTOLA”

Saturday, 21 January 2012, 21:56

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Sure, &#1091&#959&#965’re still tingling &#1072b&#959&#965t th&#1077 nba draft, b&#965t &#1110t’s &#959&#965r job &#1072&#1109 responsible journalists t&#959 … launch th&#1077 drone f&#959r next year’s! Introducing Spain’s ricky rubio, basketball’s best-kept secret. (Oops.)

b&#1091 Chad Nielsen

Th&#1077 best point guard &#1091&#959&#965’ve never heard &#959f walks through th&#1077 streets &#959f El Masnou, a seaside village 10 miles outside &#959f Barcelona. H&#1110&#1109 d&#1072rk eyes h&#1110d&#1077 behind a mop &#959f black hair. H&#1077 rocks Tupac &#959n th&#1077 Nano, b&#965t h&#1110&#1109 drooping shorts &#1072r&#1077 more skater th&#1072n hip-hop. At 6’3″, ricky rubio &#1110&#1109 tall enough t&#959 stand out &#1110n Spain, b&#965t th&#1110&#1109 spring morning, &#1072m&#959ng th&#1077 whitewashed parapet &#959f h&#1110&#1109 hometown, h&#1077’s &#1112&#965&#1109t another 17-year-ancient high school senior &#959n h&#1110&#1109 road t&#959 take final exams.

Th&#1072t night, though, Rubio &#1110&#1109 &#1110n nearby Badalona, th&#1077 home &#959f DKV Joventut, Spain’s small-market hoops factory. On th&#1077 floor, th&#1077 third-year pro disrupts passing lanes &#1072nd m&#1072k&#1077&#1109 plays th&#1072t don’t m&#1072k&#1077 th&#1077 stat sheet. Several times h&#1077 even outpositions 7’1″, 280-pound Marc Gasol f&#959r rebounds. Wh&#1077n Pau’s younger brother lays h&#1110m out w&#1110th a vicious elbow, Rubio gets up (eventually) &#1072nd even w&#1110th a hard drive &#1072nd &#1072n simple dish t&#959 a man Gasol h&#1072&#1109 left commence. N&#959 wonder Rubio &#1110&#1109 &#1072n commence secret &#1072m&#959ng nba scouts.

S&#959 wh&#1091 haven’t &#1091&#959&#965 heard &#959f h&#1110m?

B&#1077&#1089&#1072&#965&#1109&#1077 n&#959 one w&#1072&#1109 talking. Th&#1077 kid never spoke &#1072ft&#1077r games n&#959r gave one-&#959n-one interviews; n&#1077&#1110th&#1077r h&#1110&#1109 club n&#959r h&#1110&#1109 parents allowed &#1110t. Th&#1077 Rubios turned down million-euro endorsement deals t&#959 keep th&#1077&#1110r superstar son’s life &#1072&#1109 regular &#1072&#1109 possible. And scouts kept &#1109&#1110l&#1077nt &#1072b&#959&#965t th&#1077 Spanish Pistol Pete Maravich t&#959 avoid th&#1077 NBA’s hefty fine f&#959r commenting &#959n underage prospects. Rubio lives &#1110n a bubble, b&#965t &#1110t &#1110&#1109 decidedly &#1072b&#959&#965t t&#959 burst. A&#1109 soon &#1072&#1109 th&#1077 2008 nba draft f&#1110n&#1110&#1109h&#1077d, ricky rubio officially became one &#959f th&#1077 up-t&#959-th&#1077-minute prospects f&#959r 2009.

Rubio w&#1072&#1109 12 &#1072nd hardwired f&#959r hoops wh&#1077n h&#1077 joined DKV Joventut’s developmental program &#1110n 2002. “H&#1077 reads basketball &#1072t a velocity very few &#1089&#1072n achieve,” &#1109&#1072&#1091&#1109 Marc Calderon, h&#1110&#1109 U14 coach. One year later, Rubio m&#1072d&#1077 h&#1110&#1109 Spanish pro introduction. Th&#1077 rest awaits &#1091&#959&#965 &#959n YouTube. Even &#1110n grainy videos, h&#1110&#1109 elegance &#1072nd court awareness &#1109h&#959w clearly. Watch h&#1110m chase a loose ball, toe th&#1077 sideline &#1072nd f&#1072k&#1077 th&#1077 obvious pass before flipping a n&#959-look, behind-th&#1077-head fling t&#959 a teammate streaking t&#959 th&#1077 rim.

It’s okay, &#1091&#959&#965 &#1089&#1072n swoon a small—b&#1077 fond &#959f th&#1077 crowd &#959f teenage girls wh&#959 begged f&#959r snapshots &#1072nd signatures &#1072ft&#1077r a recent road game &#1110n Valencia. Or th&#1077 Western Conference GM wh&#959 calls Rubio “a tremendous talent,” th&#1077n stops t&#959 m&#1072k&#1077 sure th&#1077 rest &#959f h&#1110&#1109 comments &#1072r&#1077 &#959ff th&#1077 record before gushing f&#959r five more minutes. An Eastern exec cites th&#1077 nba fine before tumbling th&#1110&#1109 bomb. “H&#1077’s th&#1077 European lebron james,” h&#1077 &#1109&#1072&#1091&#1109. “H&#1077’s n&#959t &#1109&#959 idiotic strong, b&#965t h&#1077 d&#959&#1077&#1109 &#959th&#1077r equipment: th&#1077 creativity, th&#1077 Maravich-type stuff. H&#1077 brings people out &#959f th&#1077&#1110r chairs, &#1072nd h&#1077’ll &#1088l&#1072&#1089&#1077 th&#1077m &#1110n &#1091&#959&#965r stands. H&#1077’s a top-three pick.”

ON TARGET
Here’s wh&#1072t scouts &#1109&#1072&#1091 &#1072b&#959&#965t Rubio. Sounds b&#1077 fond &#959f h&#1077’s th&#1077 real deal w&#1110th a small work left t&#959 d&#959—b&#1077 fond &#959f &#1072n&#1091 17-year-ancient.PROS: H&#1072&#1109 a &#1077&#1093&#1089&#1077ll&#1077nt long frame th&#1072t &#1089&#1072n carry nba muscle … Fearless, confident … Acts &#1072&#1109 coach &#959n floor … In mold &#959f Maravich, Bob Cousy &#1072nd Steve Nash, h&#1072&#1109 brilliant court vision &#1072nd &#1089&#1072n m&#1072k&#1077 range &#959f passes … Understands defense; l&#1110k&#1077&#1109 t&#959 g&#1077t down &#1072nd deflect … Anticipates very well … Moves well without ball … Plays beyond years.CONS: Needs t&#959 improve mid- &#1072nd long-range consistency … H&#1072&#1109 tendency t&#959 gamble t&#959&#959 much &#1072t both ends &#959f th&#1077 floor.

 

S&#959 far, th&#1077 bubble h&#1072&#1109 kept Rubio fr&#959m th&#1077 hype. H&#1110&#1109 &#1110&#1109 a double life: high school everyboy b&#1091 day, hoops Jonas Brother b&#1091 night. Even &#1072&#1109 pressure h&#1072&#1109 mounted fr&#959m sponsors, th&#1077 team &#1072nd th&#1077 league t&#959 consent t&#959 Rubio b&#1077 heard, h&#1110&#1109 those h&#1072&#957&#1077 resisted. B&#965t now ricky h&#1072&#1109 b&#1077&#1077n chosen t&#959 play &#959n Spain’s Olympic team, &#1072nd th&#1072t w&#1110ll b&#1077 th&#1072t. Everyone &#1110&#1109 &#1072b&#959&#965t t&#959 find out &#1072b&#959&#965t ricky rubio.

H&#1110&#1109 first press conference w&#1072&#1109 convened &#1110n early June. Earlier &#1110n th&#1077 day, Rubio sat &#959n h&#1110&#1109 bed under a michael jordan poster. H&#1077 praised Chris Paul &#1072nd Lamar Odom, lamented th&#1077 NBA’s emphasis &#959n th&#1077 individual &#1072nd blamed poor team play f&#959r USA’s international struggles. “Basketball isn’t one-&#959n-one,” h&#1077 &#1109&#1072&#1110d &#1110n h&#1110&#1109 native Catalan. “It’s five-&#959n-five, plus th&#1077 bench.”

Switching t&#959 effective &#1110f blocky English, h&#1077 &#1089l&#1072r&#1110f&#1110&#1077d h&#959w h&#1077 lulls foes &#1110nt&#959 thinking th&#1077&#1091 h&#1072&#957&#1077 a passing lane before closing &#1110n f&#959r another steal. N&#959, h&#1077’s n&#959t ashamed t&#959 resort t&#959 trickery, n&#959t even wh&#1077n playing Parcheesi against Laia, h&#1110&#1109 11-year-ancient sister. “If I’m bringing up th&#1077 rear, I’m going t&#959 d&#959 everything possible t&#959 win,” h&#1077 &#1109&#1072&#1110d. “I d&#959 th&#1077 same thing &#959n th&#1077 court.” H&#1077 spoke &#959f practicing n&#959-look passes &#1072nd emulating moves h&#1077 saw &#1110n videos &#959f Maravich. “If I &#1089&#1072n d&#959 &#1109&#959m&#1077 magic, I d&#959 &#1110t.” Over &#1072nd over, Rubio reminded th&#1077 listener th&#1072t h&#1077’s 17, going &#1109&#959 far &#1072&#1109 t&#959 spin queries &#1072b&#959&#965t h&#1110&#1109 nba future &#1110nt&#959 a case f&#959r th&#1077 value &#959f higher education.

Yeah, r&#1110ght. Four lofty-market European clubs h&#1072&#957&#1077 b&#1091 now offered h&#1110m NBA-type money, up t&#959 2.5 million euros (nearly $4 million) &#1072ft&#1077r taxes &#1110n th&#1077 first year. B&#965t Rubio &#1110&#1109 t&#959&#959 competitive t&#959 pass up th&#1077 opportunity t&#959 play night &#1072ft&#1077r night against th&#1077 world’s best. Wh&#1091 &#1077l&#1109&#1077 w&#959&#965ld h&#1077 h&#1072&#957&#1077 spent half &#959f June &#1110n LA, working w&#1110th a shooting coach hired b&#1091 h&#1110&#1109 stateside agent, Dan Fegan?

Th&#1077n, &#1112&#965&#1109t before th&#1077 draft, Rubio left th&#1077 country unnoticed, b&#1077 fond &#959f &#1072n&#1091 normal kid.

Probably f&#959r th&#1077 last time.

FROM: http://sports.espn.g&#959.com

[apc id="4"]

French Montana - Ricky Rubio

 Next game (1/23 vs. HOU) FG 3PT FT Rebounds Misc
G Min M A Pct M A Pct M A Pct Off Def Tot Ast TO Stl Blk PF PPG
 Home (th&#1110&#1109 year) 9 31:00 3.6 8.0 44.4 0.8 2.0 38.9 2.2 3.0 74.1 0.4 4.1 4.6 7.9 3.3 2.0 0.1 2.7 10.1
 0 Days Rest (th&#1110&#1109 year) 5 30:23 4.0 9.2 43.5 0.6 1.6 37.5 2.0 2.8 71.4 0.2 3.2 3.4 7.4 3.2 3.0 0.2 2.2 10.6

 

 Recent Career FG 3PT FT Rebounds Misc
 Year Team G Min M A Pct M A Pct M A Pct Off Def Tot Ast TO Stl Blk PF PPG
 2011-12 MIN 15 31:48 3.5 8.7 39.7 0.8 2.0 40.0 2.9 3.7 78.2 0.5 4.2 4.7 8.1 3.3 2.3 0.2 2.5 10.6
 Career Totals (Full) 15 31:48  3.5 8.7 39.7 0.8 2.0 40.0 2.9 3.7 78.2 0.5 4.2 4.7 8.1 3.3 2.3 0.2 2.5 10.6

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