Links: Remember Ricky Rubio?

by March 27, 2008

by Lang Whitaker

With the NCAA Tournament in full swing, every time I tune into a game, the first thing I think about is how many college games I didn’t watch this season. I’ve been so tuned in to the NBA that I haven’t seen a lot of these top prospects play much at all, so in a way it’s been fun to see a lot of these guys for the first time and to formulate opinions about them.

The second thing I think about is Ricky Rubio, and I wonder how he’d fare against this level of competition. (Pretty well, I suspect.)

Who is Ricky Rubio? Hopefully you remember the name. I went to Spain about a year ago to hang with him and see him play, and I came away completely impressed. I wrote a feature in the mag and a long post here about him.

After we blew up his spot, Ricky kept doing what he’s always done, dominating games against men a decade older than him. His stock was already pretty high, especially in Europe, but now it seems to be rather high over here as well.

And he’s still just 17 years old.

Now the spotlight’s finding him everywhere. I got an email a few weeks ago from Canal+, the European mega-network, and they wanted to interview me for a special they were making about Ricky, with his family’s permission, for a show called “Informe Robinson,” which seems to be something about informing the former soccer pro Michael Robinson, the host, about a subject. It aired the other night and made YouTube immediately, of course. You can get a view of the SLAM Dome…and I take no credit for my hair being all slicked back. That’s what you get when you ask me to show up anywhere at 9:00 a.m.

By the way, Robinson asks me about going all the way to Barcelona and not “interview”ing Ricky. And technically, that’s true, because I never sat down with a recorder and asked questions and got answers. The team has rules, after all, and Ricky was only 16 at the time. But I spent two days with him, his mom, his dad, his brother, his sister, had meals with them, went to games with them, had coffee with them. Maybe I didn’t “interview” him, but I learned plenty.