Reason One – If I’d had to bet on it, I don’t think the players and the owners will get it done in time for the season to start. We’re going to have a lockout. I can see Rubio going back to Spain for another year.
Reason Two – It looked like Ricky took a step back this year. He struggled with his outside shooting and there was less flow in his game. Maybe it was one of those jitters in the program on his way to becoming a legendary player, at least in European terms, but maybe he isn’t going to be that great? Just maybe?
Quite a festival brewing on in Minnesota for the 20 year old. They haven’t fully worked out the buy out clause (1.4 million dollars) but it’ll be done soon enough. For now, the local press is brushing up on Spanish while Rubio signs stuff, tweeting and getting ready for the promotional week ahead of him.
For a team that hasn’t seen the post season since 2004 and has already seen one “franchise player” in the form of Kevin Garnett leave, for a team that has over 130 losses these past two season, Rubio is a blessing, a potential blessing. Two years ago he was a brilliant pick, and to get a 20 year old who’s already battle tested in every major competition basketball has to offer outside the United States is pretty much perfect. Still, Rubio doesn’t look like the savior that will turn the tide in Minny and join Kevin Love as the only interesting thing about this basketball team.
For now, the new Spanish sensation is drawing only smiles and pleasant thoughts about a successful future from the local fans and his teammates. It’s a new home , a new league, a totally different type of basketball. He’s an athletic guy and an excellent defender – twice leading the Spanish league in steals and in 2009 was the DPOY over there. At least in that area, he won’t have the early struggles many Europeans have when entering the NBA. The rest? Well, lets make sure we don’t have a lockout first.