Timberwolves.com First Look: Ricky Rubio

Timberwolves.com First Look: Ricky Rubio

Jonah Ballow
Wolves Editor/Writer

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After enduring a long international flight, greeting hundreds of fans at the Minneapolis – St. Paul International Airport, mingling with another large group of season ticket holders and corporate partners, there was one thing missing from Ricky Rubio.


One would assume Rubio’s trek from Spain would cause some jetlag or at least the need to regroup before a long week filled with events. The 20-year old flashed smiles for the contingency of season ticket holders at Sopranos, located at the West End in St. Louis Park and then decided to call an impromptu workout session around 8 PM. The Wolves did not host the workout but simply provided a spot for Rubio to feel comfortable inside his new basketball home.

“I came here to play basketball,” Rubio explained. “I like all the things I did but I want to play basketball.”

Rubio and his agent, Jarinn Akanna, who is based out of Los Angeles and worked for the Denver Nuggets, ran a private practice inside the Life Time Fitness Training Center. While sporting the Wolves swag for the first time, the 2009 No. 5 overall pick jumped right onto the floor and warmed up with a dazzling series of ball handling drills. Rubio is masterful when moving up and down the court, using the rock like a yo-yo in a surreal atmosphere that finally dispelled all the rumors that he would never show up in Minneapolis.

A surprised Tony Ronzone reacted, “I’m sitting there on the phones talking to teams and one of my assistants tells me that Ricky is on the floor shooting and I’m just like…that’s tough.” The Wolves assistant general manager added, “You have to love the kid wants to be in the gym and wants to be here and it’s a good start to his career in Minnesota.”

The 6-4 point guard also sweated through shooting drills from mid-range and the 3-point arc, hit jumpers off-the-dribble from both elbows, and practiced free throws intermittently during the hour-plus workout.

This small glimpse into Rubio’s psyche and work ethic should breed excitement into Wolves Nation as the international sensation begins a new chapter to his basketball life.

Oh, and by the way, he took an NBA ball back to the hotel, barely able to relinquish the object that made him a star at 14 years old.

Exclusive 1-on-1: Ricky Rubio | Signed, Sealed, and Soon to be Delivered: Ricky Rubio | RUBIO CENTRAL

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