To say Minnesota Timberwolves’ Ricky Rubio has some high expectations would be an understatement. The much-heralded rookie will be under the microscope of fans, and players to see if this 2009 top-10 lottery pick will live up to the hype.
And if Rubio does make a splash, then he sure is going to be giving thanks to some heavy-hitters in the NBA — Paul Pierce, and Kevin Garnett.
Rubio has been scrimmaging with and picking up pointers from Garnett and Pierce and Rubio understands the value of learning from the best.
“The best thing I can do is come here, play with the guys who are playing in the NBA and be ready when the league starts,” he said. “The best thing I can do is see them play. In the end, it’s basketball, you know? But it’s different than Europe. I needed to come here so I can feel and I can see and I can watch how to play.”
And if this isn’t enough to put a smile on Minnesota fans’ faces, the fact Rubio hasn’t limited his work outs with just two NBA stars might. He also had daily sessions with other NBA veterans including Danny Granger, Joakim Noah, Nick Young, and Shawn Marion.
As you can see, each of these players bring something to help develop Rubio’s game. And this is exactly what you want to read about especially if you are the Wolves’ coaching staff seeing how the “no player contact” rule in effect during the lockout.
This just shows Rubio’s desire to be the best by seeking out some of the best, so he can prove he was worth the fifth overall pick. Sure, he has played professionally for most of his young basketball career over in Spain but the NBA is an entirely different beast.
Leading up to his decision to make the leap to the NBA, it has been well documented that his game took a dip. Some pointed to an injury, while some felt he just isn’t going to live up to the hype. Regardless, this type of work-ethic should prove naysayers incorrect.
In the end, hopefully he picked up pointers on how to improve his shooting touch (a knock on his game) from Pierce, how to have a relentless motor like Noah, and passion for basketball from KG.
Let’s hope he didn’t learn how to jack up every shot every time like Young.