Posts Tagged ‘Ricky Rubio’

Ricky Rubio’s made three more jump shots than I have this season, and his team remains below-average. He’s still recovering from his torn ACL, and it might not be until next season when he’s back to feeling fully comfortable on the court.

But he remains one of my favorite players to watch in the league. It remains thrilling to watch Rubio with the ball in his hands because you never know how he’s going to get it in the hands of a teammate. He’s fundamentally sound so it could be a simple chest pass to a man beyond the 3-point line. Just as likely? Rubio will effortlessly flick an alley-oop pass or bounce a pass between his legs — or an opponent’s — for an easy layup. Sunday against Golden State — in another one of those frustrating Wolves losses that sees them break out to a double-digit lead before giving it up and falling short in the fourth quarter — Rubio had numerous highlight-reel passes, the types of plays that lift you off the couch or have you saying “wow” in an empty apartment.

Rubio provides nightly reminders that in a game of jumpers, dunks, steals and blocks there’s still nothing that captures the beauty of the game like a perfect pass.


The other night my mom asked me how I had been handling the Lakers season. She was maybe worried about profane outbursts upsetting Louise, my neighbors or god. I told her I’ve been remarkably calm watching the Lakers fiasco unfold. The terrible offense of Mike Brown and the terrible defense of Mike D’Antoni and the terrible offense of Darius Morris and the terrible defense of Kobe Bryant and the terrible free throws of Dwight Howard and the terrible healing of Steve Nash’s leg have been bewildering, but very few four-letter words have been uttered in northern Manhattan while watching the games.

Partly it’s because for three years now there’s been something of a joylessness to the Lakers on the court, even during Phil Jackson’s final season. The games look like drudgery to the players, perhaps worn down by long championship runs or Kobe Bryant’s criticism. Kobe remains amazing to watch, as he battles time, opponents and his own nature. But the team so often looks disengaged, worn down, maybe even bored.

In other words, the opposite of the Timberwolves anytime Ricky Rubio is on the court.


The NBA season is over, but the scintillating action keep on coming.

TV and Fury love it, obviously, and hash through it all on this week’s podcast. Included: “good” guys going to “evil” teams, Dwight Howard and Kevin Love (sort of) make demands and cutting-edge German medicine.

Plus, more future talk. Yes, TV may have a problem.

Here’s the link. And make sure to stop back Wednesday for the TVFury 1-year anniversary bash. It’s bound to be decadent.

Terry’s back in Sioux Falls, I’m back in NYC, things are getting back to normal in the TVFury bureaus. So during this period of stability, let us present this week’s links.

* Longtime magazine writer Pat Jordan profiled Connecticut women’s basketball coach Geno Auriemma for Deadspin. It’s an entertaining read about one of the most successful coaches in sports history, but a guy who seems to lose fans as fast as he wins titles.

* Jim Souhan spent a week with Ricky Rubio for a Star Tribune feature. Unfortunately, it was a week that ended with Rubio tearing his ACL. But the Timberwolves have been just fine in Rubio’s absence, right? Moving on.

* profiled Stephon Marbury, who wanted the SI cover before agreeing to speak. I could read Marbury stories all day.

* Obviously lots of stories on the Saints bounty scandal, although as far as I know none of them have addressed whether the Vikings will be retroactively awarded the NFC’s Super Bowl berth from 2010, setting up a big game against the Colts, who will have to take Peyton Manning back. But this story from Slate’s Josh Levin focuses on Sean Payton’s responsibilities in the fiasco.

* Our boy, Brandon Sneed, if we can call him that, made his debut in GQ this week with a piece about a rabid North Carolina fan. Sure, you could mock the guy. But that’s too easy. What’s more interesting is how sincere he is about everything, professing that seeking love never really crossed his mind because it would forever alter his fanhood. Some people are just wired differently.

* The flag is flying at half-mast this week at TVFury in honor of Chaleo Yoovidhya. The Red Bull co-founder passed away this week of natural causes. Again, natural causes and not a caffeine overdose. The Washington Post chronicles his background. Among the fascinating facts: The energy drink has (sort of) been around since 1962, initially flopped and now sells 4.4 billion cans per year.

Seeing an athlete clutch his knee seconds after it buckled remains one of the most depressing sights in all of sports, a painful image that shares space with shots of a pitcher walking off the mound holding his elbow and a quarterback rolling around reaching for his Achilles.

When Ricky Rubio injured his knee Friday night everyone feared the worst while hoping for the best, even if the best was also an unattractive option. “Maybe it’s just a sprain. Perhaps he just hurt his MCL. That’s the ligament that’s not as serious, right?”

But it was the ACL and it was a tear and it was the end of his sensational rookie season.


Time for the latest edition of The Tapes. I’m making last-minute preparations for my trip to Cape Town. But nothing – nothing – comes before TVFury. Onward:

* Ricky Rubio had a horrific game on Wednesday against the Jazz. The Wolves made their comeback with him on the bench and he hit only 1 of 6 from the line. I don’t care. He’s still awesome to watch, is a huge reason for the complete turnaround of a woeful franchise and has them in position for a playoff run. Also, he did this dance last night.

* This quarterback from the Broncos received a bit of attention this season and GQ writer Michael Silver did an oral history of this QB’s season. This is the piece famous for Brady Quinn’s supposedly insulting quotes about this particular overshadowed quarterback.

* From The Onion: Great Team Chemistry No Match for Great Team Biology.

* Big week for TV’s employer as it began implementing a paywall on its Web site. It’s part of a company-wide move by Gannett. All of its American papers other than USA Today will go to a similar model in 2012.
Time will tell how this will work out, although I think even the tightest of wads can agree that it was an inevitability. Giving away your product isn’t a sound, long-term business model. What’s been most interesting in the short term are all the logistical questions from readers. Hopefully, that means they’re still interested.

* Apparently, there’s a new form of caffeine hitting the market … the breathable kind. That’s right, no need to sip or chug, anymore, the latest trend in energy ingestion is, well, huffing. To be honest, I’d probably prefer a pure, concentrated liquid form. The idea of purposely breathing in a chemical makes me think two things: 1) a gangly 10-year-old boy clinging to an inhaler during gym class and 2) this dude in Fargo who was notorious for sniffing silver paint in a downtown park.
As much as I’m dependent on caffeine, I think I’ll pass on this method if only makes the habit seem more detrimental.

It would hurt to see Love win a title somewhere else.

The Minnesota Timberwolves did the right thing Wednesday in signing All-Star forward Kevin Love to a four-year, $61-million extension that has a player opt-out clause after three.

It was the correct move not because there’s any guarantee that Love will turn into a top-5 player and therefore worthy of what’s essentially a max contract, but because, well, if not him, whom? The franchise has been so dreadful since Kevin Garnett left in 2007 that the only way to land a player of Love’s ability was to draft him.

And – cue Debbie Downer music – that’s part of the problem moving forward. (more…)

Welcome to the latest edition of The Tapes. This one comes to you live from Janesville, Minnesota, where I’ve been for about a week. I’ve been relaxing, not writing. A few days ago I met up with Terry and it was the first time TV and Fury had been together in nearly five years. It was pretty momentous and in those 30 minutes we spent together, we came up with some big plans. Big plans. Big. Actually we just enjoyed each other’s company, I scarfed down fries, Terry ate fruit – the guy is very serious about his health – and we reminisced a bit. Now on to the links:

* Michael Wilbon admits he was wrong about Ricky Rubio. I admit I was too. Now, he’s become perhaps my second-favorite player in the league and he’s a blast to watch. I admit I was wrong on Wes Johnson too. Thought he’d be better than Kobe.

* Speaking of the Black Mamba, his latest scoring binge – back-to-back nights with 40 or more points – brought to mind one of my all-time favorite pieces about him, from Ralph Wiley in 2003. In the story, Wiley wrote that Kobe might be the greatest scorer in NBA history, better than Wilt, Jordan, Baylor, anyone. And this was before 62 in three quarters and 81 points and the streak of 50-plus games and everything else.

* More hoops, more great scorers. Sports Illustrated’s Thomas Lake produced a great feature on the coach who “cut” Michael Jordan, even though the guy actually did no such thing. It’s an incredible story about a very sick man – the coach – and an obsessed man: Michael Jordan.

* TV here. (For some reason, that doesn’t sound as cool as when Fury does is.) I have very little to contribute because I’ve been knee deep in Jackrabbits and Coyotes all week. Actually, I wasn’t actually surrounded by dead animals, which was a bit of a breakthrough.
See, the state’s two largest universities – South Dakota State and the University of South Dakota – had an eight-year break in their longstanding men’s basketball series. Basically, the school played in different classifications for a few years, and only now are things getting going again.
Back in the day, throwing dead and sometimes frozen animals – Jacks and Coyotes carcasses, of course – onto the field of play was the thing to do. Or so I’m told. Well, the powers-that-be are hoping to eliminate that tradition in this new era of the rivalry. It wasn’t a problem Thursday night in Brookings – everyone was pretty well behaved and SDSU won 86-56. But it was an interesting concept to discuss leading up to the game. Here’s a piece advocating for athletic hate and one opposing it.

The Timberwolves game Monday night at Target Center looked pretty much like every other game played in the arena the past four seasons. Some good offense, frustrating performances by young guys, bricks from outside, and a close defeat against a superior foe.

But if it looked a lot like so many games in recent team history, it certainly didn’t feel the same.