Ricky Rubio tends to summer in Spain.
You'd do it, too, if you could afford it. The Timberwolves point guard has the additional reason that he's from there, and spent his formative years playing professionally in the Spanish league, where he starred as a teenager with F.C. Barcelona.
Rubio dropped in on his old club the other night, taking in one of their home games from a front row seat. This, inevitably, drew a Spanish courtside reporter to Rubio like a moth to a devilishly handsome bearded flame.
Speaking en español (naturally), she asked Ricky a series of basic questions about how everything's going over there in that American basketball league.
It's the sort of off-season question where normally, an American athlete would say, "I'm doing great, team's doing great, I'm getting into the best shape of my life, can't wait for next year."
Ricky's answers were... not that.
Ricky en Movistar sobre futuro en Minnesota y selección pic.twitter.com/QxEx715lEZ— Jordi Jimenez (@Jordi10Jimenez) May 11, 2017
We asked a professional interpreter to give us the blow-by-blow of this quartet of questions. Here's their exchange, as transcribed in English. (Emphasis ours.)
Reporter: He’s with me here, back home. Ricky, here to see your Barça.
Ricky: Yeah, here with my friends. Yesterday we went out to dinner and we said that today we would come watch our friends.
Reporter: So what’s the deal? What’s next season looking like? Are you going to stay in Minnesota or do you intend to make a move?
Ricky: Well, it’s not my decision. I have two years left on my contract, and they’re the ones that decide.
Reporter: Would you like that? To change to a different place or to change teams?
Ricky: Well, there’s a lot in play, and like I said, it’s not my decision. I can’t weigh in here.
Reporter: EuroBasket is coming up this summer. Are you looking forward to it?
Ricky: Yes, I’m looking forward to it.
Oh, so THAT he's looking forward to?
Not the thought of getting back on the court with Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns? Or spending three months each winter mapping out different ways to get to the Target Center without ever actually setting foot outside?
Rubio's right, his contract with the Wolves keeps him here another two years. Yet every year, his name bubbles to the surface of trade rumors around the time the of the swapping deadline. This past year, it was reported the New York Knicks wanted to dump Derrick Rose (and his expiring contract, and unseemly off-court baggage) in exchange for Rubio. Minnesota turned it down.
The month after the trade deadline passed was the best of Rubio's career.
Perhaps we'd be reading too much into this to suggest Ricky's not happy in Minnesota, based on these answers. Maybe it's the cliche American athlete answers about "supporting the team" -- which is "more like a family," really -- with "110 percent" that should bother us.
Thanks for speaking la verdad, Ricky. If and when you do feel like you can "weigh in" about playing in Minnesota, please let us know.
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