Monday, April 5th, 2010 at 3:47 pm  |  83 responses

Video: Ricky Rubio’s Top 5 Plays

El Prodigio…

by Lang Whitaker

I dunno, maybe you’ve heard of him, but there’s this kid (he’s still only 19) over in Spain named Ricky Rubio who is a terrific point guard. And he’s going to be an amazing NBA player some day soon, too. Maybe. Depending on what NBA team has his rights.

Whatever, here’s Ricky’s top five plays thus far this season…

h/t A Stern Warning

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  • http://slamonline.com Ben Osborne

    Hell yes.

  • ryandeahn

    I dont know if im sold on this kid yet. He has skills no doubt but i think he would get pushed around by NBA point guards ( Willams, Paul, Rondo and even John Wall next season if he does enter).

  • http://slamonline.com Ben Collins

    Anybody else notice that all five plays are with his right hand?

  • Michael Scorn

    I’m guessing the leading shot blocker in all of euro league averages about 0.6 blocks per game.

  • Captain Fantastic

    He could even make Darko look good….well

  • Mr. Robinson

    Rubio is overhyped. Brandon Jennings kicked hi ass last summer.

  • Jas

    No. 1 was impressive; the rest of the plays were boring. I’m not feelin’ his style.

  • http://www.realcavsfans.com Anton

    It’ll be interesting how she handles the competition in the WNBA.

  • mick

    No look passes are nice, but the defense looks like all star weekend. And Jason Williams could do them with his elbow.

  • Orlando Woolridge

    Nice, but I was expecting to be blown away. If that’s his top five plays, then I’m not all that impressed.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com/ Moose

    Do all European leagues have it so that the players have their first name on the back of their jersey? I don’t know all that much about EuroBall (TM).

  • colin n

    LMAOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Please tell me this is a late April Fools joke. That might be the worst top 5 list I’ve ever seen. I feel like I stumbled into a top 5 Chucky Atkins plays of one season. When the Wizards traded their 5th pick for Mike Miller I was mad. But I’d take Mike Miller over 12 year old looking Ricky Rubio any day.

  • slamfan4life

    Not that impressive, i do that kinda ish @ the YMCA

    But this vid doesnt serve him right, he’s way better then shown on these “top” plays

  • Mitya

    @Moose: I think it’s more of a spanish thing, and it started with soccer first; a lot of players have their first names on their jerseys like Barcelona’s Xavi. Brazilians and the Portuguese do it too, there’s even a Brazilian striker who calls himself Hulk.
    I truly believe Ricky’s the real deal, you just have to remember that the overall level of excitement in the Euroleague can’t compare to the NBA. All you need for a proof really is to watch back the Olympic gold medal game, and that was almost two years ago.

  • Mr. West

    holy sh*t. that number 1 was niiiiiiice. rest was pretty boring though.

  • lawlow


  • Mitya

    And if you ever watched Spain play you’d notice half their squad does the same – there’s Ricky, Rudy, Pau, Marc and so on

  • mdshuai33

    He carried on the last on…and some of those jerseys were gross…

  • http://www.asternwarning.com mookie

    Everyone asking the questions “is EuroLeague like this?” or “like that?” in this day and age of the internet, why don’t you make the effort and watch a game or two and then you’ll know! It’s really not that hard.

    Educate yourself and then you can make informed decisions about whether Rubio is the real deal or not.

    As anyone who has watched him properly will attest, the kid CAN play. Remind yourself next time you watch an NBA highlight reel with guys dunking, that in those highlight clips it also looks like no one is playing defence. So perhaps that explains why you think the same when you watch these highlights… hmmm…?

    Have an open mind, people. Hoops is worldwide now.

  • http://www.basketball247.co.uk Greg Tanner

    I am European, and back Euro ballers to the fullest. But if Rubio does wind up in the NBA, he won’t do sh*t. He’s too slow and weak…and has no jumper.
    Other guards will physically abuse him when he’s on D….and when he’s on O he won’t be able to pull that flashy stuff as NBA PGs will stay in front of him and muscle him off the ball.

  • jonnykukoc

    dude can play but these are definately not his best highlights. if and when he ends up in the NBA then we can see how his game works in the states.

  • Mitya

    Greg, what you’re saying is just ridiculous. I have to (once again) take you back to that gold medal game, in which he went head to head and held his own against the best point guards in the world. You’re questioning his D?! Dude has the potential to lead the league in steals – real talk. No jumper? Cmon now, JKidd only started hitting threes this season – was he not the best point in the L for about 10 years? And speed… well he’s not lighting-quick like the Young Buck or DRose, but, again, he’s about three times faster than Kidd.

  • http://staticseth.blogspot.com Seth

    I like Ricky but I’ve seen better plays in other highlights. Since these are his top plays this season, what does that say about his development? Hmmm.

  • mike

    whoa! was the first play’s dunk by the orlando magic drafted fran vazquez?

  • http://SLAMonline.com GotHandles?

    petty weak overall. seen much better in college and the league this year.

  • doyouwantmore

    For the record, I like the kid. But at 0:52 what would be the result if the dunker was Kevin Love and the defenders were average middle-of-the-road NBA players? Probably a turnover.

  • barnabusb

    The dunks were better than the passes, I thought.

  • jay

    5-3 are basic plays, but 1 and 2 are nice, not the passes in particular but how he uses his moves to get to his spots, watch carefully – that is definitely not your average player. go search his other highlights, the kid is using the euroleague as his personal and1 mixtape

  • http://missjia.com meloMan2.0

    I was expecting wayyyyyy more… any point guard in the nba can make those plays… minus anthony carter

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    Am I missing something? Did I not watch the exact same Olympics as everyone else? When did Ricky Rubio “hold his own” against the best point guards in the NBA? I don’t remember his exact statline, but I DO remember that it underwhelmed me.
    Can anyone refresh my memory on his statline in the Olympics? Wasn’t it like 8 points and 3 assists against the US?

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    Number 1 was tight, though.

  • Mitya

    True that, the statline wasn’t that impressive; I’m talking about the confidence he played with at such big stage. You could just see the kid was on point with what he was doing (sorry for the word-play). A nice cross-over on Kidd there – a steal on Paul there – you know, he just always does the right thing on the floor…

  • anen

    I like him, I remember seeing this vdo though, I don’t think it’s new. Looks like his first half of the season

  • http://slamonline.com Ben Osborne

    Thank you Mookie @ 5:31. Great comment!

  • http://slamonline.com d.j.

    his top 5 ( that took months probably to compose )can be seen on the NBA on any given night… they are just regular plays here i think only the #1 on here would make the sportscenter top 10, at # 10… and thats when the football season isnt on… hes still a good player ( in europe )tho, needs a lot more beef to make it in the L im not sold yet…

  • http://dsfjklf.com Jukai

    I still don’t get this crap… Ricky Rubio, at 18-years-old, was the DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR IN THE ACB.
    And he’s going to get man-handled on defense?
    Uhhhh huh…..
    Look, he ain’t winning any DPOY awards in the NBA, but we’re not looking at the next Steve Nash/Chris Paul here. Rubio will be a more than solid defender, he’s got long arms, can switch directions very quickly (which makes up for his overall lack of speed laterally), and his defensive IQ is just ridiculous.
    Now, that being all said, even though I’m a huge Rubio supporter, I’m a bit upset with his progress. His jumper has gotten better… but slightly… his passing has gotten better… but slightly… no other improvement to really write home about. Navarro has the keys to that team, Rubio appears to be leaning towards a career of second banana.

  • The Wize

    Those were carries in Allen Iverson’s day

  • http://www.springbored.net letsmotor

    i want my minute and forty-nine seconds back.

  • Chang

    As always…still hating. He will prove everyone wrong..when he joins the TIMBERWOVES in 2011!

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    Cool, thanks for clarifying, Mitya.

  • http://www.laumol.nl/weblog Laumol

    RR has his first name on his jerseys. Something for the League?

  • spit hot fiyah

    i think 3 of those dunks were by fran vazquez. orlando……

  • Yann Blavec

    Laumol : it’s because he’s spanish. Spaniards and Portugueses have their christen name or nickname on their jerseys.

  • T-Money

    That top 5 was garbage. I think Rubio will play in the NBA for a long time but I don’t see why people think he’ll be a star. How is he going to keep the D honest at the NBA level? I don’t think he can score from the outside OR the paint in the L.

  • http://www.thecomfortofyourseat.blogspot.com twahc

    fun to watch but he still needs much more to be a NBA player. i would like to see his shooting range.

  • riggs

    ive seen better from him, and the better that ive seen from him still doesnt compare to other people.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    A joke is a joke, no matter how you sell it.

  • BostonBaller

    Ricky has some game and I’ll hold my complete judgement for when he plays in the L for a 1/2 season. He can pass and I’m not going to attribute it to poor D b/c not many players let alone whole teams play D for any extended period of time.I think he has the green light to do whatever he wants now so there isn’t much pressure if he messes up so I can’t wait to see what he does against the “best” in the world on a nightly basis.

  • http://slamonline.com Brad Long

    I remember when the first thing that I ever wrote that got published on this site was about Rubio and the comment section almost ended the internets. The more things change…

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Jason Kidd is like 5th on the all time list for three pointers made. You can’t do that if you “just” started hitting threes.
    Kidd has always struggled shooting off the bounce, but he’s steadily improved his set shot for years.

  • http://www.euroleagueadventures.com Nick Gibson

    It should be noted that these are ONLY from Euroleague non-playoff games (Euroleague.net is the source of the video). That’s 10 regular season games and 6 Top 16 games. So that’s 16 games in which he averaged only 21 minutes per. Not bad. And this video should also prove that Fran Vazquez to make an impact in the NBA.

  • Dallas

    Wow if that was top 5 i’d hate to see top 10. I could have made some of those plays.
    Can he even score??

  • http://slamonline.com Adam Fleischer

    Dope. Anyone who is already writing him off, and doing so without seeing him actually play–that means YouTube and highlights doesn’t count, we’re talking actually playing in a game–needs to get up, get out, and get something.

  • http://slamonline.com tealish

    @Allenp – Thanks for your 11:55pm comment.

  • tbizzle!

    not really that impressive overall…ive seen better. it looks like some michael adams type highlights…2 outta 15 stars. lol.

  • NAS

    i dont think he is a very good player, his body looks very frail BUT BUT BUT if he plays on a team with a GREAT DUNKER they can re-create what payton and kemp had going on with their alley-oops back in the day because i think he can really pass and is a bit of a showman and there was NUTHIN like a GP LOB TO KEMP – NUTHIN

  • T-Money

    The impact that Vasquez could have on the NBA was never questioned. He just flat out doesn’t want to go. I’ve seen him with my own eyes last spring on a trip to Barcelona. He was just beasting on cats, dunking absolutely everything, none of that euro-sotfy ish. Although for some reason, he was playing behind David freaking Santiago, they don’t like to play young cats tons of minutes in Europe. Seriously, I could see him averaging a double-double from the get-go in the L.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Beanie Seagull

    Honestly, I was expecting a little more. Rajon Rondo makes 5 plays like that on a nightly basis.

  • DJ

    Ricky Rubio is going to be the most disappointing bust since Tskitishvili. Against the US in the Olympics, he was ineffective and wholly unimpressive, and this “highlight” reel is hardly evidence that he has made any meaningful progression; any decent D1 college point guard can easily make those plays. Rubio can’t do anything with his left hand, and his craftiness with the ball cannot compensate for his diminutive offensive skills-shooting, agility, and off-hand. Any comparison to Maravich is only based on his creativity, hair, and Caucasian ancestry; Rubio has no scoring ability or instinct, even against Europeans with similar athletic shortcomings. Admittedly, he plays in a different basketball environment, surrounded by a different basketball culture, but such a difference comes with both pros and cons: perhaps he receives less playing time due to the way minutes are distributed, but with that comes the bonus of playing against athletes who are far inferior to NBA players. I haven’t mentioned defense, since a great offensive player or playmaker can always find a starting role in the NBA, but I contend that Rubio’s game does not compensate for his frailty, poor shooting and ball-handling (left hand), and lack of athleticism.

  • http://www.basketball247.co.uk Greg Tanner

    Rubio is great at reading the lanes and picking off passes with those long-a** arms…but he will get posted and bumped by the bigger, stronger guards in the NBA.

  • Vegas

    hopefully he’ll start his rookie season behind a great point guard and kind of train on the skills he lacks,

  • Gabe

    Wow. this kid is a scrub. I like number 1, but he is slow and weak. wheres the left? where the hops? Wheres the shot? All hype.

  • LA Huey

    SLAM, this is a weak highlight video. Cats make can a better set of 5 plays from one run of pick-up ball. I know you guys may didn’t compile it but your fault for posting such a crappy video. Instead, how about you let us know when ESPN3(60) is broadcasting one of his games?

  • http://dsfjklf.com Jukai

    Brad: in fairness, it was because it was one of the worst written articles on SLAM.
    Ahem, no offense.

  • http://dsfjklf.com Jukai

    So people still don’t know that Rubio had completely obliterated his wrist in the first quarter of the US v Spain game and that he had to have major reconstructive surgery that kept him out for months causing him to miss half the ACB game…. and they’re still blaming him for his lackluster performance in the olympic gold medal game?
    I sort of thought that was common knowledge.
    Man, haters will hate. Take a look at the numbers before the gold medal game, posers. Best numbers per minute after Chris Paul for PGs.

  • sokerhead

    for those who are saying if He can shoot the answer is sometimes he went 5/5 3′s in one game the next his shooting is not so hot. He’s only 19 There’s time to improve; it’s funny how people keep comparing him to current veterans though without ackowledging how these veteran pgs were doing during their 17-19 age.
    u can critizes on his jumper In this vdo you can see his current jumper:

  • http://dsfjklf.com Jukai

    As a Rubio fan from the get go, there are a few things I am very upset at:
    1) He’s not clutch. After watching his mythical gold medal performance at the under-16 tournament, I figured he’d be the guy who’d always take the last shot, but he continues to shy away from it every game. When he does take them, he misses them. Blef.
    2) His shooting has not improved. It looked like it did for a bit, but it’s back to early Lebron-ish. I gave him a past when he hurt his wrist, but it’s inexcusable now. He can obliterate Europe with his footwork, but not the NBA.
    3) Still needs to hit the weight room more. Now, when he was planning on heading into the NBA, it was CLEAR he was… but he’s not when he plays in Europe. That’s a mistake if he wants to make an immediate impact in the NBA.
    Now, here’s some BLATANT misconceptions about Rubio:
    1) Rubio will get 95% of his points in the paint, and he’ll score. It’ll be 10 a game, if he never improves his jumper, but he’ll score. There’s no NBA player outside of the Rondo’s and Westbrook’s that can predict his footworks and dribble moves. Ask Jason Kidd: I know the dude ain’t a top notch defender anymore, but he’s averaged, and he got schooled.
    2) Rubio will be a great defender. I’m sorry, but even without NBA athleticism, if you get a DPOY award in the second best league in the WORLD, you’re going to be a good defender. Does anyone see how huge his arms are? Does anyone see how well he pokes the ball without touching a defender, how he always knows when to switch, when to double, when to gamble and when to stay on his man? Oh wait, you guys DON’T see that because you’ve never watched any f’in games of his

  • KRIS

    This might change of ya’ll minds. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xSBLKrZCkeU

    Check it out!

  • KRIS

    * change some of ya’ll minds.

  • http://Www.lkz.ch Darksaber

    the steady 6-8 pt gap, Ricky answered with a drive, shoulder rammed Marko Jaric into the front row (no call, but refs swallowed their whistles most of the game) and calmly sank a 3 that broke Real’s momentum. That game 4 was a demonstration of Rubio-Ball, i call him “the disruptor”, cause he wrecks havoc on D (as yo said) but is gaining serious confidence on. offense. He might be a 3pt setshooter now, but he makes em. Plus he spent most of the game getting hacked etc. and made like 9 freethrows in a row before his 1st miss. Clutchness is growing (still hate his whining to refs though)

  • http://Www.lkz.ch Darksaber

    Jesus, half of my post vanished…

  • http://slamonline.com Dave

    Thanks, Kris. *That* is a highlight reel.
    He stutters his feet a lot when he’s deciding which way to go, and he makes some very bad decisions that he gets away with in Europe that he won’t in the NBA.
    But he crosses over with his left, multiple dribble fakes on his man, pinpoint passes and fall-aways. Now I get the hype. It could be really entertaining to see him in Minny – or somewhere.

  • http://dsfjklf.com Jukai

    I remember when everyone was enamored with Flynn and claimed Flynn would be an all-star and would have a far greater impact than Rubio.
    So, how’s that going.

  • max

    Preach, Jukai, preach…

  • http://CourtCred.com Coop

    Rubio made a great decision to stay overseas. I don’t think he could do well with a team that would require him to lead like chris paul and deron williams do. he has to goto a san antonio because he needs the personnel arould him to perform

  • http://big11mel@yahoo.com Big Mel

    Flynn is having a bigger impact because he actually plays in the NBA

  • Matt F

    What? Dont understand the hype every pg in the league would have made those plays even the ones who are on the bench

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    I watched the other highlight film. Dude understands the game.
    But, without that jumper, I’m not sure he has the physical talent to be a factor as a scorer. And, he better clean up that handle.

  • http://soulbanger.tumblr.com tapion786

    whats up with the saved by the bell music?

  • http://sevendeu2u.wordpress.com/ Seven Duece

    Terrance Morris sighting!!!

  • not real impressed… unless the dude can shoot your face off, he’s not gonna do crap in the league…

  • big easy

    ricky can play, but i really think that his ceiling is Jason Williams. I mean, even that is a little overreaching, as White Chocolate is better built and can shoot. I can’t be impressed with him until I see him play some NBA game

  • http://msn.com ricky warner

    If this is this guys five top plays – he isn’t even in Steve Nash’s league. Big deal a few behind the back passes. Nothing was fantastic and all were something Magic did 5 times a game!