While people told David Kahn to trade the pick — Ricky Rubio was never going to play in Minnesota, get something of value for him — he was patient.
That patience has been rewarded, Ricky Rubio made official Friday morning in Spain what we all knew would happen — Rubio is coming to the NBA. He held a press conference in Spain to announce his decision, the AP reports.
“It is my dream and I want to fulfill it,” he said. “After thinking about it a lot, the time has arrived.”
Rubio is a YouTube legend, the floppy haired Spanish point guard was playing in the highest league in his country at 16. Two year’s ago at the Beijing Olympics he was facing off against Jason Kidd and the best of the USA in a Gold Medal game. Now at the ripe old age of 20 he is finally coming to the NBA.
He played for Barcelona in Spain, and while reports he was coming to the NBA had been out for weeks he could not make it official until the Spanish league season ended. Barcelona finished on top. Again.
“I think all that I have won here gives me strength to go,” Rubio said….
“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.”
The debate still rages about Rubio, how good he will be in the NBA. Rubio is a tall (6’5″), pass-first point guard who plays good defense and has tremendous court vision, but has a lot of work to do on his jump shot. He’s going to have to adjust to a very different style of play — but the Timberwolves play at the fastest pace in the NBA and those fast breaks will suit his style. Think a poor man’s Rajon Rondo — that’s Rubio’s style of play, but he has a long way to go to be anywhere near as good as the Celtics guard.
But he will get better and evolve. And now with Kevin Love the Wolves have some pieces.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Tommy Hawkins, the first black athlete to earn All-America honors in basketball at Notre Dame and who played for the Los Angeles Lakers during a 10-year NBA career, has died. He was 80.
Hawkins died Wednesday in Malibu, according to the Los Angeles Dodgers, for whom he once worked as director of communications.
He graduated from Notre Dame in 1959. Hawkins was inducted into the school’s Ring of Honor and his 1,318 career rebounds remain the oldest record on the books in Fighting Irish basketball history.
Hawkins was selected by the Minneapolis Lakers in the first round of the 1959 NBA draft. He played for them as well as the Cincinnati Royals, and notched 6,672 career points and 4,607 rebounds.
DENVER (AP) — The Denver Nuggets have hired veteran NBA coach Bob Weiss as an assistant on Michael Malone’s staff and announced the hiring of Calvin Booth as an assistant general manager.
Weiss has coached 31 seasons in the NBA, including the last four as an assistant with the Charlotte Hornets. He’s been a head coach with four teams, compiling a 223-299 career record with the Spurs, Hawks, Clippers and SuperSonics.
Prior to coaching, Weiss played a dozen seasons in the NBA.
Also Wednesday, the Nuggets made official their hiring of Booth, 41, who spent the previous four seasons in the Minnesota Timberwolves front office, serving as director of pro personnel last season.
Booth has quietly emerged as a respected evaluator of talent. He was one of the holdovers in the front office when Tom Thibodeau was hired to take over last summer as president of basketball operations and coach.
After one season working under Thibodeau and GM Scott Layden, Booth left for a promotion with the Nuggets, taking a position that will give him more responsibility and a greater say in the direction of another young team on the rise in the Western Conference.
Booth joins a Nuggets front office that includes Tim Connelly, who was promoted earlier this summer to president of basketball operations, a move that allowed Denver to hold on to promising executive Arturas Karnisovas as the team’s general manager.
Booth spent 10 years as a player in the league. Four of those seasons were with the Washington Wizards while Connelly was working there. The two also worked together in New Orleans in 2012-13, when Connelly was the assistant GM and Booth was a scout.
Kings big man Zach Randolph is charged with possessing marijuana with intent to sell, a felony – not because law enforcement has evidence Randolph planned to sell the drug, but because of the amount of the drug found.
Randolph’s agent/attorney denied the allegations.
Also sticking up for Randolph? Rasheed Wallace, who played with Randolph on the Trail Blazers.
Wallace, via TMZ:
“It seems to be — no matter who you are — the bigger the paycheck, the bigger the party,” Sheed says.
“I know for a fact he ain’t no dope dealer.”
Charging someone for intending to distributing drugs without any proof he intends to distribute drugs is hazardously lazy. Randolph – who has earned about $175 million in his career and is on a two-year, $24 million contract with Sacramento – can afford more marijuana than most. That doesn’t mean he plans to sell it.
The stakes are high for Randolph. If he’s convicted of “a felony involving the distribution of marijuana,” per the Collective Bargaining Agreement, he’d be banned from the NBA for at least two years.
Remember when Turkey revoked Enes Kanter‘s passport?
That looms over the Thunder’s Dec. 7 game against the Nets in Mexico City.
Fred Katz of The Norman Transcript:
Without a valid passport, he is unable to travel to another country other than Canada, which allows entry from U.S. residents who have a Green Card. There is no such agreement with Mexico.
Kanter could receive a re-entry permit, a special document issued to citizens of other countries whose passports have been canceled for reasons the U.S. government deems unsuitable. The permit would allow Kanter to leave the U.S. for another country, such as Mexico, and still return. And the plan is for Kanter to acquire one before OKC’s game in Mexico City. Still, he is yet to receive a re-entry permit, according to a source with knowledge of the situation. There is, however, still ample time for that process to complete.
Kanter is a high-profile millionaire working for a billion-dollar company that has a vested interest in getting him to Mexico. He likely works this out.