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Ricky Rubio is good, but until his shot falls more the legend part is on hold

Sep 9, 2010, 11:59 AM EST

rubio_spain.jpgRicky Rubio has reached a legendary status. With reason — the guy was on the floor in the key moments of an Olympic gold medal game at age 19, or just check out his mix tapes. He has mad game.

He’s 19 and will spend this season playing for Barcelona, then decide whether to come to Minnesota Timberwolves next year (don’t be shocked if he stays in Europe one more year with a lockout looming). He’s seen as future premiere point guard, right there along with John Wall and others.

But we got a good look at him against quality competition in the World Championships and… he was a mixed bag.

He was a floor general and showed that great feel for the game that is just instinctual with him. There were spectacular passes. There was a comfort on the big stage that is just uncanny for someone of this age.

But his shooting remains his Achilles heel. He shot 27.5 percent for the tournament and that includes just 2 of 15 from three (13.3 percent). He was able to create his own shot, but whether with the jumper or at the rim, he struggled to finish.

Because of that, well, the brilliant Jay Aych said it best at The Painted Area — against Serbia in an elimination game, Rubio failed to really impact it. He didn’t play poorly, but for a guy of his skills we expect more.

Can he play in the NBA? Yes, and right now. He could walk in tomorrow and fit in, especially on a team with an up-tempo style. (Why Minnesota wants him to run the triangle offense, which is not terribly point guard friendly, is another question entirely.)

He’s 19. We can’t emphasize that enough. He has plenty of time to learn to shoot — it’s a skill that can be taught, his feel for the game cannot. But until he learns to shoot, to finish those plays himself, his impact will be limited. Wherever he plays.

  1. B Jennings - Sep 9, 2010 at 12:31 PM

    ricky rubio has reached “legendary status” because he’s white and the media is desperate.

  2. B Jennings Mom - Sep 9, 2010 at 1:13 PM

    He is really more tan than white.
    You are right though the media loves anything different. The NBA is full of brothers from the hood so nobody gets too excited about another african american point guard from the ghetto. If there is a flashy spanish kid who is going to be a superstar the media gets over excited. Unfortunately Rubio is only going to be an average NBA starting point guard who will always be over-hyped because he is flashy and unique ethnically.

  3. B Jennings Mom - Sep 9, 2010 at 1:15 PM

    He is really more tan than white.
    You are right though the media loves anything different. The NBA is full of brothers from the hood so nobody gets too excited about another african american point guard from the ghetto. If there is a flashy spanish kid who is going to be a superstar the media gets over excited. Unfortunately Rubio is only going to be an average NBA starting point guard who will always be over-hyped because he is flashy and unique ethnically.

  4. McShaq - Sep 9, 2010 at 2:43 PM

    I agree B. Jennings,
    Who the hell cares about little Ricky Rubio? How many NBA games has he played? If I was a Minnesota fan I would hate him already.

  5. Bojangles - Sep 10, 2010 at 7:15 PM

    Good article, although his impact will be huge even without scoring. His D and ability to run an offense are crazy good.
    Rubio will lead the league in assists/steals from his sophomore year on. Don’t hate because he’s not hood.

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