Ricky Rubio has finally arrived in North America.
To play basketball! As opposed to, say, taking a vacation.
The Minnesota Timberwolves are excited. As well they should be, because even if Rubio is still merely just a kid, he’s got flash and adds some excitement to a team that’s done plenty of losing lately.
Tom Powers of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports:
The Savior arrived at Target Center on Tuesday, and that can mean only one thing. Well, other than the fact that I must have slept through that whole Rapture thing. Yes, Ricky Rubio finally has made it to Minnesota.
He was charming, humble, determined and clearly delighted to be here. Rubio even joked about already having bought a heavy jacket in anticipation of his first Minnesota winter. Of course, the first time he walks out of the arena after a game and his face falls off, he’ll realize that he needs more than a heavy jacket. But we’ll deal with that when the time comes. For now, things couldn’t be better.
“Of course, I’m going to have pressure,” Rubio said with an innocent smile. “But I’ve been playing professionally since I am 14 years old.”
David Kahn and the Timberwolves might have hit the jackpot. And Rubio doesn’t even have to become a superstar, although that would be lovely. I can’t recall running across a 20-year-old with such charisma. This kid has enough pizazz to reinvigorate the franchise. He is exactly what the Wolves need. He might even become the most popular athlete in any sport in the Twin Cities.
Kahn, who takes a lot of heat for a lot of things, deserves credit for getting him signed under less-than-ideal circumstances. The team has struggled for the past two years while Rubio has played in Barcelona. People were justifiably impatient and maybe even a bit panicked, considering all the rumors flying around. But Kahn maintained a calm public demeanor while working behind the scenes to develop ties with Rubio and his family.
I look forward to seeing the kid play next season. I don’t expect much in the way of points, though. But if nothing else, Rubio should help provide a pulse.