Some of you may have heard of him once or twice but what do you really know about him? Did you know that DraftExpress.com has him as the number 1 pick of the 2009 NBA Draft? Did you know he is the best player outside of the U.S. right now and is only 16? Yes, he's that good. Ricky Rubio has been proclaimed by some to be the next Pistol Pete Maravich. Others have even said he is comparable to Magic Johnson.
Here's some of the basics on him: He's a 6'4", 180 pound point guard from Spain. He plays on DKV Joventut. He's a very good athlete who can play defense, is quick, is an amazing ball handler, shows great potential, and is usually the best passer on the court when he plays. He started playing for Joventut when he was fourteen years old.
But what is so great about this guy? His hunger to win. At the U16 Championships playing for Spain he was the hero. He made a half-court shot at the buzzer to send the game into overtime. Then he kept his team in overtime sending the game into the second overtime where his team, Spain, won the game. What was his stat line for the game? 51 points, 24 rebounds, 12 steals, and 7 assists. In that tournament, Spain played eight games. In those eight games, Rubio averaged 23 points, 13 boards, and 7 assists. He was unstoppable.
But there's something else about him. He can control the game without scoring. He can take less than five shots in a game and still control the tempo and help his team win. That's the reason for the Magic comparison. He can do everything. Score, rebound, pass, lead, handle the ball. He shows great intangibles and is very savvy on the court. People have already proclaimed that he's good enough to play in the NBA right now, at 16 years of age.
The one thing that might hold him back from being great? His inconsistant jump shot. Don't forget though, he still has two or three more year until the draft so I'm guessing that's being worked on as you read this. Ricky has been asked what his favorite move used in the NBA is. His answer? The move is by Steve Nash. Rubio has said that he loves how Nash takes an extra dribble off the screen to create more space for himself. I think that answer just shows how mature he is for his age. He has pretty good speed and a great basketball IQ. This kid is the next big thing. He could be the future if he continues to develop.