Ricky Rubio – The Spanish Gem

He dazzled NBA scouts, general managers, and executives when his DKV Joventut team defeated Lottomatica Roma ricky_rubio_preparandose_lanzar_tiro_libreat the Olympic Stadium in Barcelona. He’s regarded as the top international prospect and the top overall NBA prospect by Draft Express. He’s been compared to Steve Nash, Walt Frazier, and Larry Bird. He’s been on the NBA’s radar since he was 15 years old. And he might not even enter himself into the 2009 NBA Draft.

On one play, he has the ball at the top of the key. He dribbles right, drawing a defender while his swingman cuts and runs the baseline. Ball in one hand, he throws a Nolan Ryan-esque one-bounce pass that splits 2 defenders and hits his teammate for the lay up.

On another play, he catches the ball in a fast break. He sprints down the court to find 3 defenders waiting to swat his shot. He leaps into the air, causing the defenders to jump and commit to blocking his shot. He pump fakes and then floats forward to the area under the hoop. In mid-air with his legs wide open like he’s riding a horse, he uses his incredible point guard vision and throws an underhand pass to his teammate waiting on the other side of the hoop for the easy 2.

This time its a 2 on 1 in his team’s favor. He brings the ball down the left side of the paint, drawing  the defender. He fakes the ball around the back, then brings it around the back so it touches his left elbow. He stops about 8 feet from the basket and with the ball still behind his back, sends a pass between his legs to his teammate for the dunk.

All in a day’s work for Ricky Rubio – The Spanish Gem. 

Don’t let the young, innocent face fool you. This guy is a straight baller. Rubio has been in the top 25 of virtually all offensive ricky_rubio1and defensive categoriessince 2006. He leads both the ACB and ULEB in steals for the 2007-2008 season. He’s also in the top 10 in assists in both leagues in the same time period. On top of that, he shoots 80% from the free throw line. He is considered an exceptional leader with great maturity at such a young age. Struggling NBA teams are drooling over the idea of Rubio running the show for them in the future.

Timo Lawrence of NBADraft.net gave Rubio high praise last April when evaluating the Spanish point-guard’s  draftability. At 18 years old “he is already a feared and well respected ACB and Euro-level competitor. He is a warrior and plays all out, all the time,” says Lawrence. “[Rubio] will become a household name.”

Even though he did not have an incredible game against the USA in the Gold Medal Game of the 2008 Olympics as a ricky_rubio_u18spainmember of Spain’s team, he did have as many rebounds as fellow Spainard Pau Gasol and led his team with steals. The skill set is all there. He’s talented, mature, and can only get better with time.

The official NBA rule says that a player must be 19 years old “within the calender year the Draft is held.” Yes, Rubio will still be 18 when the draft rolls around, but he will be 19 in December, making him eligible for the 2009 Draft. Whether he will enter this draft or the following is still undecided. He will be a lottery pick no matter when he decides to come to the NBA.

The Spanish prodigy Ricky Rubio will be the next big international player to come to the states to play basketball. If you haven’t heard of him yet, you will. Very soon.


A. Martin


2 Responses to “Ricky Rubio – The Spanish Gem”

  1. 1 jun geronimo
    March 18, 2009 at 6:29 am

    Im an avid fan of Richard Rubio since the first time I saw him play at the olympic. I am a Filipino and I would welcome to be his personal masseur if given the chance. I am 53 years old and he is a baby to me cause he is too young and yet he is now a Somebody to look forward to specially in the NBA. I will alwqys suport you in prayer and I would like to seeyou personaly if given the chance. Take good care and God bless RIcky!!

    Jun Geronimo from the Philippines

  2. 2 blake walters
    July 1, 2009 at 11:03 pm

    ricky is a great ball player he is the shit

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