There's a legend out there. A legend about a man-boy who can handle a basketball like no other. He has feet like lightning and nerves of steel. It's said that this young phenom can chest pass a man running full sprint from 100 yards and drain a three from 5 blocks away.
Who is this basketball wonder the world is hanging on?
Well, no other than the great Ricky Rubio of the Minnesota Timberwolves… or more accurately Ricky Rubio of the Barcelona Whatchamacallits soon to be of the Minnesota Timberwolves. You see, the T-Wolves drafted Rubio in the first round of the 2009 draft and have been patiently awaiting the 20 yr old to decide the time is right to make his American debut.
"This is a day our organization and our fans have been eagerly awaiting from the moment we drafted him, and I couldn't be more pleased to welcome Ricky to Minnesota," Timberwolves president David Kahn said in a statement Friday.
The skinny on Rubio is this; he made his debut in the Spanish league with Joventut when he was 14, has won numerous titles as well as an Olympic Silver metal, and it is widely thought that his already solid game would only improve in the more point guard friendly NBA. On the bad side, he is coming off his worst season as his scoring average dropped to 6 points a game and he lost his starting spot.
"Individually, I could have done things better, but it is a team sport and we had success," Rubio said, adding that he was not going to the NBA because of a need to jump-start his game.
Many thought that this day would never come, that Rubio would string this along to the point where Minnesota would give up and he would be picked up by a team in a bigger market. But true to his word, Rubio is coming to America amidst tons of expectations and hope, though he will have to readjust his mentality a bit since he won't be actively fighting for a championship for a while,
"It will mean a change of mentality" Rubio said. "Perhaps we won't be fighting for the title, but we will have other goals. I am willing to do whatever the team needs to win as many games as possible."
In today's league, you have to have a solid point guard to compete. Rubio, young yet with a wealth of experience, is that guy for the Wolves. With point guard crossed off their list of needs now, and the signing of Rubio to fall back on, expect Minnesota to trade the number 2 pick in this upcoming draft.
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