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Ricky Rubio questions Kevin Love as Timberwolves leader

Kevin LoveThe Kevin Love trade speculation has heated up over the past few days after a report surfaced claiming the three-time All-Star has informed the Minnesota Timberwolves that he will leave via free agency next year if they don’t trade him. Love has wanted out of Minnesota for a while, and Ricky Rubio wonders if Love’s desire to leave has compromised his ability to lead.

In a recent interview with BasketballAmericano.com, Rubio questioned if Love is the true leader of the Timberwolves. A translation was posted on Reddit:

“He is a special player, his numbers are unbelievable but maybe our leader must be other player,” Rubio said. “He is our leader in points and another things but he can’t be or he doesn’t want to be our ‘voice’ leader. … Perhaps he shouldn’t have been our leader, perhaps Kevin Martin could have been our leader because he had more experience, perhaps I could take a step ahead to be the definitive leader.”

Love has remained loyal to the Timberwolves since he was drafted, despite the fact that the front office has not assembled a playoff team. Love went public with concerns over his contract a while back, but others in his situation would have become much more of a problem by now.

Like the rest of us, Rubio knows Love is as good as gone. He probably wants it to happen sooner rather than later. If Love is intent on leaving, there’s no sense wasting an entire season with a frustrated superstar who has no interest in being with the team.

Ricky Rubio looks tiny next to Yao Ming

Yao Ming Ricky Rubio

So I realize that almost everyone is going to look tiny standing next to 7-foot-6 Yao Ming, but this photo of Ricky Rubio posing with the former Houston Rockets center was just too funny to pass up.

Though he is a point guard, Rubio is still 6-foot-4 and not exactly a shrimp. But he doesn’t even come up to Yao’s shoulders. And it looks like the cameraman snapped the photo a little too quickly, because the ordinarily friendly Yao didn’t get a chance to smile.

Rubio shouldn’t feel badly; Yao also made the massive JJ Watt look like a wee little man in their picture.

Photo: Instagram/Ricky Rubio

Kobe Bryant fouled Ricky Rubio on last shot and got away with it (Video)

Kobe Bryant Ricky RubioKobe Bryant got away with a blatant foul on Ricky Rubio on the last play of the Los Angeles Lakers-Minnesota Timberwolves game Wednesday.

The Lakers were up 119-117 with 3.4 seconds left and had Kobe at the free throw line. Bryant made his first attempt but missed his second. Rubio grabbed the rebound off the miss, took the ball up the court, and attempted a tying three-pointer from about eight feet beyond the arc. It was a low-percentage shot that might not have gone in, but Bryant clearly made contact with Rubio while he was shooting. Rubio should have been sent to the free throw line for three shots, which would have given the 77 percent free throw shooter a good shot at tying the game. Despite Rubio’s complaints, the referees did not call anything and the players walked off the court.

Kobe may have gotten away with one, but that’s not how he sees things.

“They’re not going to call that s***,” he said after the game, per the OC Register’s Kevin Ding.

He got that right. The Lakers are now 37-35 after the win. They are a game up on Utah for the final spot in the Western Conference, and 1.5 games up on Dallas.

Video via @cjzero; H/T LBS contributor Arsen

Ricky Rubio goes behind his back twice on pretty layup (Video)

Ricky Rubio behind backAre you kidding me, Ricky Rubio? Late in the fourth quarter of Minnesota’s 107-83 blowout win over the San Antonio Spurs Tuesday, the T-Wolves point guard decided to show off.

Rubio went behind his back not once, but twice on his way to scoring a pretty layup against San Antonio. Sure, he was going past Spurs bench players Patty Mills and Aron Baynes, but it doesn’t get much better than that.

Rubio finished with 21 points, 13 rebounds, and 12 assists for his first career triple double. Between going behind his back for layups and between his legs for passes, he might be the best ball handler and passer in the NBA when it comes to tricks and fancy plays on the court. He makes the T-Wolves a fun team to watch on any night.

Ricky Rubio tells Alexey Shved to change his face, be happy (Video)

Ricky-Rubio-Alexey-ShvedThe Minnesota Timberwolves have lost four games in a row and appear destined to miss the playoffs for a ninth straight season, but Ricky Rubio is trying to maintain a positive attitude. Not only that, but he’s trying to influence his teammates to do the same.

During Thursday night’s blowout loss to the Los Angeles Lakers, TNT captured Rubio telling teammate Alexey Shved to cheer up. As you can see, his delivery was priceless.

“Alexey, change this face,” Rubio said while patting his teammate on the head. “Be happy. Enjoy it.”

Well said, Ricky. Kevin Love may be sick of all the losing that has gone on in Minnesota since he was drafted, but somebody has to be there to keep spirits high. In only his second NBA season, it appears that Rubio has adopted that role. We’ll see if he’s singing the same tune during blowout losses in a couple years.

Video via @cjzero

Ricky Rubio voices frustration with being benched in the fourth quarter

Ricky-Rubio-TimberwolvesThe Minnesota Timberwolves (17-22) have not played all that well this season. You could make the argument that they have been even worse when Ricky Rubio is on the floor. The second-year point guard has battled injuries that have limited him to just 14 appearances this season. Of those 14 games, the Timberwolves have won just four.

Minnesota picked up its seventh loss in its past eight games against the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday night. Head coach Terry Porter decided to bench Rubio in favor of JJ Barea for the entire fourth quarter, and Ricky was not shy about expressing his displeasure after the game.

“I want to know what happened,” Rubio said according to The Pioneer Press. “We’re going to talk. ‘TP’ preferred to play the other players who were playing. I don’t know what to say. I don’t like it.”

To make matters more frustrating, Rubio reported to the scorer’s table twice in the final quarter but was called back both times. The first time, it appeared that Rubio would replace Barea after Barea committed his fifth foul of the quarter. Luke Ridnour replaced Mickael Gelabale instead, and Barea stayed in the game. Later in the quarter, Barea fell hard to the floor and appeared to suffer an injury. Porter was about to put Rubio in, but Barea waved him off before hitting a timely three-pointer.

“J.J. hit a shot,” Porter explained. “He hit a three. I was taking him out because I thought he was hurt but he said he was fine and made a shot. At that point, I just rolled with him. He was hot and made a shot. That was the only difference.”

That may have been the only difference on Wednesday, but there’s no denying Rubio has struggled all throughout his sophomore season. He is averaging just 4.2 points and 5.0 assists per game, as opposed to 10.6 points and 8.2 assists last year. He’s a crucial part of the team’s future, but Rubio simply isn’t performing. The way he has played is enough to earn most players a spot on the bench in certain situations.

Chest bump to Pro Basketball Talk

Ricky Rubio fan gets a giant rug with his face on it for Christmas (Picture)

Ricky-Rubio-rug

When it comes to collecting sports memorabilia, there is a fine line between showing your commitment and creepiness. If you ask me, the Christmas gift you see above crosses that line.

This giant Ricky Rubio rug was shared on Twitter by a man named Dean Pierce, who describes himself as an “NBA fanatic” and has a Minnesota Timberwolves background and avatar on his profile. It would appear that a member of Pierce’s family is one of the biggest Rubio fans on earth. Otherwise, I doubt anyone would have given her such a massive and detailed portrait of the Spaniard.

Personally, I feel that’s a little too much. Asking the young point guard to the prom is one thing, but I couldn’t look at something like that no matter who the athlete was. All that matters is it made someone happy on Christmas.