Ricky Rubio Interview
UP AND CLOSE WITH THE SPANISH PHENOMENON
Ricky Rubio: "If you believe all the compliments they say about you, you'll never reach anything"
By Eduardo Schell
Source: Newspaper Marca, Spain www.marca.com
Ricky Rubio born in El Masnou (Spain) in1990 is barely 18 years old but has the maturity of a 30 year old. As a professional journalist he is one of those special players that you really enjoy talking to. Praised to the heavens since the age of 15, this Spanish phenomenon could provide headlines to the journalists for being aloof or a new "divo", but instead he provides them for quite the opposite. He is humble, mature and down to earth. He is a true MVP on and off the court.
QUESTION. Barely 18 you've been already Olympic silver medalist in Beijing 2008, the starting PG for the Spanish National team, in the NBA scouts agenda for many years and now everyone is asking: "When are you going to the NBA"? Are you frightened by how quick everything is happening?
RICKY. It's fast and good, that's my way of making things happen. While everything is going good I can't complain.
Q. Do you have time to digest what's happening?
R. Truth is sometimes I would prefer that things would happen a little bit more slowly so I could enjoy it more, taste it more and have more time to digest it. But things are like this and I can't do anything about it. Things happen quick and fast? True, but I'm not afraid, I have things under control and I've always said that age doesn't count. When you're playing on court it doesn't mind if you're 16, 18 or 25, no one is going to stop and look to your I.D., they're only going to judge you on how you perform.
Q. Here are some things NBA-USABasketball players told me about you during the past Olympics in Beijing. Jason Kidd: "The sky is the limit for him"; Carmelo Anthony: "Ricky is the most fascinating story of the Olympics"; Kobe Bryant: "He's played awesome, he single hand changed the course of some games" or Chris Paul: "Ricky is unbelievable". Not to mention what your partners in the Spanish national team and NBA players like Gasol, Calderón, Rudy Fernández, Marc Gasol or former like Navarro, Garbajosa and Raúl López told me. How does it feel?
R. Good, great (smiles). It's a great honour that these worldwide star calibre players say things like this of me. I feel very proud and satisfied, but I always say this to myself: "If you believe what everyone says good about you, all the compliments, you'll never reach anything". These types of compliments they say about me only help me to keep on working harder everyday.
Q. Ever since I've known you ( at 15 years old), I've been shocked by you're maturity (not common of your age) and that's been highlighted by your Spanish NT team mates. What's the best advice someone ever gave you in order to be like this?
R. My dad always repeats the same to me: "When you feel you know how to do one thing, that day you'll stop learning". Every time I'll give all I have on court... Maximum effort, every time, everywhere.
Q. Will you declare yourself for the upcoming draft or will you wait at least one more year?
R. That's one decision I haven't taken yet and that I'll talk with my parents. I want to focus now in my team (DKV Joventut) with whom I still have a contract, and when time comes up we'll take a decision. It's not something now that stops me from sleeping. It will depend on how I finish up the season, because if I don't perform well, maybe the interest of NBA teams in me decreases and I'll leave it for another year. You never know what's going to happen.
Q. How does it feel to be studied and observed by NBA scouts practically in every single game for many years?
R. I don't think about it, seriously. I'm not going to play better because they come to see me. I can only hope they have a good time and enjoy like everybody else.
Q. Since you're an underclassmen, NBA scouts don't talk publicly about you, but during the past Copa del Rey, some told me, under the condition of not being named, that they know your strengths so well and they're plenty that now they're concentrating in highlighting your weak points. Overscouting, they say.
R. (Smiles). Then, they're going to run out of ink because all of my weak points. I've got plenty (smiles). They're going to write a lot.
Q. Does the NBA appeal you?
R. The NBA is by far the best league in the world. But it's not something that stops me from sleeping right now.
Q. Do you follow the NBA?
R. Yes, and I went to see Pau (Gasol) play the past finals with the Lakers against Boston. It's a huge show.
Q. In the past Olympics you were on the same team with Pau Gasol and other big time spanish players like Calderón, Garbajosa, Navarro... How did you feel the first day of camp?
R. It was a dream come true for me. Just imagine it, two years before I was watching them on TV winning the World Championship in Japan 2006, and just two years later I was there myself sharing the locker room, precamp, training sessions, games... It was magical for me.
Q. It's been a long, intense journey but successful at the same time since the day you first bounced a basketball. Do you remember your first basketball?
R. Yes! I started my relation with basketball when I went to see my father play. After that, I started to play with my brother.
Q. I think you've been blessed and touched to play basketball. You have a special gift that makes you a unique player. Was it back then in those days when you realized that you could play?
R. No, no. Truth is that it was recently that I realized that I could play basketball, but I'm still not sure that I will make it and reach the goal.
Q. Well, Tim Shea (basketball coach and NBA scout) has already told me that you'll be a Hall of Fame player. Is it easy to be a good student at the same time you play at pro level?
R. I try my best and my parents always tell me to keep on studying, you never know what can happen in life.
Q. Do you already know what are you going to be when you're a grown up person?
R. (Big Smile). Not sure yet if I want to study to be a doctor or something related with sports, but I lean more to this last option.
Q. Dirk Nowitzki's manager and mentor, Holger Geschwinder, once told me in an interview how important is for a player to be smart and have studies in order to perform better on the court and that he insisted Dirk to learn to play the guitar, piano and saxophone in order to be a brighter person and then use those things he learned on the court. He and Dirk talked to me about the musicality of basketball.
R. Yes, Aito (Ricky's former coach in DKV Joventut and in the Spanish NT) always said to me that while we we're in Joventut that I should read, read a lot, as many books as I could, he told me to study and be smart in life because that was reflected on the court.
Q. Seeing you so focused and mature when you're only 18, it's clear the influence of your parents.
R. Yes, they have always been there for me and my brothers. I'm a family guy, I like to spend my spare time with them and my friends, with the same friends of all my life.
Q. You've always said your brother is your idol.
R. True. When you ask people who's their idol in basketball, everyone tends to say Michael Jordan, who is also one of my idols, but my true idol is my brother. I've been blessed to have someone near whom I could learn so much.
Q. What are your worries in life?
R. The proper ones of an 18 year old kid. I like to spend my time with my friends talking about our stuff. They also come to see me play at games when they can, and they were at the recent King's Cup in Madrid. They were very happy and that made me happy too.
Q. Friends, school mates and teachers ask you for tickets?
R. (Smiles) Yes, and when I can, I give it to them.
Q. I imagine they also ask you for autographs, but who did you ask to sign you anything?
R. After the Olympics I asked my team mates to sign my Spanish national team T-Shirt. We all did.
Liitle too early to say that, but how many 17 year olds played last year against Lebron, Kobe and Melo without looking lost out there
ricky is that dude.... kobe was going out his way to guard him in the games last year when usa played spain.
Hi .. Look waht he say : “In this moment I didn’t think. But I realized that I could play against the best and I don’t think I’m making a mistake.”
“I’m presenting myself in the draft because they have said that I could get drafted at a high position. I could be at the top and thats why I would like to enter. No basketball player could say no to a high position in the NBA draft.”
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