Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Ricky Rubio Hype Machine

In the continual quest to find the 'next big thing' in sports, front office personnel will scour the globe, trying to find someone that might become an integral part of their organization. Occasionally, one of these players becomes hyped to the point where they are considered an absolute lock, despite any limitations that casual fan would notice. The latest member of the hype machine - Ricky Rubio.

Rubio was the fifth pick overall two years ago by the Minnesota Timberwolves. This selection was part of the absolutely confusing draft conducted by David Kahn, where his first three selections were point guards (Rubio, Johnny Flynn, and Ty Lawson). Lawson was traded to Denver, and Flynn ended up being a 2009-10 All-Rookie Second Team player, who then missed all of last season with an injury. Rubio, however, was lauded as being able to process the game faster than anyone else, and was a truly elite talent.

Instead of proving this in over the past couple of years in the Spanish League, he essentially became a bench player. Over the past two years, he averaged 5.9 points and 4.4 assists. Yup, that's the production that you want out of the number 5 overall pick. While the Spanish league has produced a few legit NBA players, the brothers Gasol specifically, there were flashes that they would turn into something. Also, they were not languishing on the bench during the regular season and the postseason, as Rubio did.

The idea is that Rubio's game is tailored more for the American brand of basketball. This does not make any sense. In theory, the NBA is the upper echelon of basketball talent, where the best of the best in the entire world play. So, how is it possible that some 20 year old that was a bench player in Spain would be able to step in and dominate, as Rubio is expected to do? Pure madness.

Then there was Rubio's arrival in the United States, where 200 people - mainly Timberwolves employees - waited around to greet him. Why? Was this just a smokescreen to make Rubio think that the Minnesota area was excited to see him come? Does Rubio have an ego that requires this sort of messaging already? What was the point?

In all likelihood, this will not end well for the Minnesota Timberwolves or for Ricky Rubio. He would have been better served working on his game overseas, and having the Timberwolves trade his rights for a useful piece, like maybe a center. Rubio would be more valuable as an unknown entity than he will be on the court.

1 comment:

  1. This article proves you know nothing about basketball. Rubio is raw talent, and future all-star.