When I spoke to Ricky Rubio at adidas Eurocamp in Treviso, Italy this summer, it was just as the reports of Kevin Love wanting out of Minnesota were beginning to emerge.
Without hearing it from Love himself, Rubio was reluctant to comment too much on the situation. But he did say something back then that is relevant once again.
“It’s hard to convince someone who wants to leave,” Rubio told me.
Evidently, the opinion that Rubio held was strong enough for him to not even bother trying.
Before Love had his agent push the Wolves for a trade in April, Rubio never did have a heart-to-heart with him about a future together. On a trip to Los Angeles after the T’wolves season ended, Rubio considered talking to Love there, but never bothered.
What was the point anymore?
“If he wanted to leave, there’s no reason to talk to him about it,” Rubio told Yahoo. “I really liked playing with him, but I’ll play with the players who want to be there. Kevin wants to win. That’s normal. He’s been there six years without the playoffs. I understand. If I was in the same situation – being one of the best players in the league – and not being able to be in the playoffs, I’d have a lot of frustration, too.”
This isn’t a reflection on the relationship between Rubio and Love, but it is an interesting window into how these things work.
Players view free agency as a business decision, so for the most part, they tend to stay out of it. Some recruiting occasionally goes on, but teammates often back away in these situations and give each other plenty of room to make what often times is a critical career decision.