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.
In the NBA, elite players have the leverage. It is just simple supply and demand.
DeMarcus Cousins is an elite player — and a favorite of owner Vivek Ranadive. He is not going anywhere.
Which made this summer’s “George Karl wants trade Cousins” a battle the coach couldn’t ultimately win — the owner wasn’t going to sign off on it, and the fans are going to side with Boogie. Remember Karl said he never had a player that was untradable, and that spiraled into reports Karl probed trade options with other teams, much to the frustration of management and Cousins himself.
Karl owned up to some of his mistakes in an interview on Comcast Bay Area, as reported by James Ham at CSNBayArea.com.
“To be honest with you, I apologized to DeMarcus for making the trade comment that I’ve never coached a player that’s untradeable,” Karl told Christensen. “That was wrong for me to say, because you all (the media) took it and blew it up into crazy.”
“But it’s my responsibility to be smart enough to not say things like that,” Karl continued. “So I did apologize because I thought that was the only thing, maybe some other things, but really the only thing that got us separated was that comment that then everybody wrote the we’re going to trade [Cousins].”
The relationship between Cousins and Karl — not to mention Rajon Rondo and other veterans — is the biggest key to the Kings’ season. Karl and Cousins say their relationship is solid now, but what happens when that is put under stress at some point during the season?
In talking to people around the team, the Kings players seemed to have formed a tight bond — even if part of the glue of that bond is a distrust of Karl that can work for them. This is a team that has the talent to compete for the bottom couple playoff seeds in the Western Conference, but everybody needs to be pulling on the rope in the same direction. We will see pretty quickly if the Kings can do that.
I’m a fan of the Pistons’ alternate uniforms in general — their “Motor City” ones may be may favorite alternates around the league.
Now they have a new one — Detroit Chrome.
The Pistons will break these out for seven home games this season. From the official release:
The inspiration for the Detroit Chrome jerseys came about as a way to honor our coolest cars from the past and the cars of the future. Detroit is universally known as the auto capital of the world, where chrome leaves an indelible mark on the cars we create. The uniforms feature a matte chrome base color with clean simple lines inspired by the classic muscle cars that have roared up and down Woodward Avenue for decades. The navy trim and Detroit emblazoned across the chest represent the blue collar work ethic that the auto industry and region was built on.
Clean, simple, cool — I like it.
That would look good in the first round of the playoffs, too. (I’m predicting they get the eight seed.)