Ricky Rubio opens up about ‘tough’ buildup to trade deadline
Ricky Rubio was at the center of rampant trade speculation in the days leading up to the NBA trade deadline for the second season in a row. This year, however, the sixth-year Minnesota Timberwolves point guard admitted “felt a little different.”
The trade rumor that generated the most buzz was a straight-up exchange with the New York Knicks for fellow point guard (and T’Wolves head coach Tom Thibodeau player) Derrick Rose. What almost seemed like a near-certainty fizzled out as the trade deadline passed.
At the finish line, league sources say, New York was prepared to trade Derrick Rose for Ricky Rubio straight up. But the Wolves balked.
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) February 23, 2017
Rubio arguably helped in part to drum-up speculation this week that a trade was imminent by curiously starting to follow Knicks star Kristaps Porzingis as rumors swirled.
But in the end, Rubio remains with the Wolves. And yet, he admitted feeling a different vibe leading up to Thursday’s deadline.
“As pros, we know what’s the deal,” Rubio said, via the Star Tribune’s Jerry Zgoda. “But this time felt a little different.”
Rubio did take to Twitter amid the speculation to indicate he was trying to keep things in perspective.
Never stress over what you can’t control.
— Ricky Rubio (@rickyrubio9) February 22, 2017
Thibodeau, not only the head coach but a top Wolves executive, indicated players touched by trade rumors are “expected to be a professional.”
While Rubio somewhat agrees with Thibs’ sentiment, he did say, “Mentally, it’s tough.”
“I mean, we’re professionals, but we’re human beings, too,” Rubio added. “So we have feelings, but I know this is a business and it has to be like that.”
Rubio was asked if he was relieved deadline has passed.
“I’m not going to lie, you hear the rumors,” he said. “But until it doesn’t happen, I didn’t expect anything. I’m still here. I have my apartment here. After practice, I go to my apartment and take a nap and everything is like it was before.”
Once the deadline passed, Rubio again returned to Twitter.
" Difficulties are meant to rouse, not to discourage. The human spirit is to grow strong by conflict. "
— Ricky Rubio (@rickyrubio9) February 24, 2017
Rubio still could be traded, perhaps as early as the coming offseason ahead of the June draft. But it looks like he’s maintaining a positive outlook in the interim despite all the drama.