KICKS: You hear guys talk about how basketball might not be as much fun as it used to. You’ve been a pro since you were, what, 14?
RR: Yeah [laughs]. I’m trying to have fun all games. And I know it’s tough, I know it’s hard when you’re fighting for a championship or something like that, that you must win no matter what you do. I had that experience, that different experience, when you win and you have fun and you win and you don’t have fun. It’s so much fun when you’re winning and having fun. It’s like…good memories.
KICKS: Derrick Williams said the goal this season is to just improve from a season earlier.
RR: Yeah, we lost the last three, against Miami, Oklahoma City and Milwaukee. But people were talking: “I like how they play.” Back in [Spain], when you lose one game, everybody kills you. Here, you want to win, of course, but you want to have fun, and we have a lot of fun. The fans were cheering all games, even when we were losing. But then we figured it out and finished with a good record.
KICKS: Was it fun playing with Kevin Love?
RR: He was balling. I’ve played with [Juan Carlos] Navarro in his top moments, but it reminded me a little bit of when Navarro was hot in last year’s European Championships: You’d hit him, and no matter how he could shoot it, he’s gonna make it. It was like playing pick and roll with somebody that you know he’s gonna make a three, if you shoot he’s gonna take the rebound. It’s like a joker in your pocket that you can play.
KICKS: Like a video game almost.
RR: Yeah! Actually, he was on fire all year. He was hitting threes, especially after All-Star, and his confidence was even higher than before. It was amazing playing with him.
KICKS: How does your knee feel?
RR: Feeling better. The first six weeks was tough because I couldn’t walk, couldn’t put any weight on it, so it was pretty boring. But right now I can walk, lift some weights, but under control. But it’s hard watching the Playoffs and all you can do is go to the court and sit with the ball.
KICKS: Being here at adidas seems like a big story for your summer.
RR: I feel like a superstar. They treat me amazing. I like how they’re doing everything, and I’ve only been here one day. I feel very comfortable.
KICKS: What do you look for in a shoe?
RR: First of all, comfort. I like a light shoe that fits, like you don’t have nothing on your foot. At the same time, you don’t want to feel like you’re going to twist your ankle, because your ankle is important. Playing every night, you get fatigued, and everything has to be under control. I want the shoe to be comfortable, and a little fancy, why not? I like classic, not too much colors and cool.
KICKS: Most guys wear new shoes all the time. You only wear three or four pairs all season?
RR: Yeah. I only use three or four pairs per season, sometimes five. I don’t want to change shoes. If the shoe fits well and I feel comfortable, I don’t see why I have to change it every game.
KICKS: You change it for bad luck?
RR: Yeah, when I start with a new shoe, if it gives me two or three games in a row where I’m not playing good, I’ll try to change it. Maybe next year if I’m playing bad maybe I’ll wear 20 pairs of shoes [laughs].
KICKS: Well, let’s hope next year you only need, like, one pair of shoes.
RR: Yeah, that’s good.
Images 1-5 courtesy of adidas/Brucy Ely, image 6 courtesy of NBAE/Getty.