Rubio out ‘til 2012-13; options and outlook for Team Spain, Minnesota Timberwolves [Updated]

A moment of silence, please, in memory of Ricky Rubio’s 2011-12 season.

After Rubio suffered an injury in Friday night’s game against the Los Angeles Lakers, Minnesota Timberwolves fans held their collective breath, and the Human YouTube Highlight Clip got another video added to his virtual collection – one that La Pistola certainly never wanted to see.

Yesterday, the team was forced to announce that Rubio in fact had torn his left ACL, an injury that ends his NBA season with a surprising Timberwolves side who’d gotten as high as no. 8 in the Western Conference. Worse yet for international hoops fans, Rubio will miss the entire 2012 Olympic Games, a bit of blow to Team Spain.

National team head coach Sergio Scariolo was quoted on Saturday morning as stating that “I woke up to the bad news this morning, although there remains the slight hope that it isn’t too serious.” Of course, it ultimately was.

Spain-based website Te Interesa contemplates Sergio Scariolo’s moves for the Olympics, with Jose Calderon suddenly thrust from a platoon role to full-time starter. The website also reckons that Real Madrid’s Sergio Llull might be shifted to the no. 2 spot, while Team Spain will certainly have to deemphasize the playmaker role – the latter of which BiE figures is a strategy tantamount to death in international ‘ball.

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Team Spain beats Slovenia behind fearsome foursome, announces final roster

Barack didn't actually make the final cut...

The Spanish Basketball Federation is reporting that coach Sergio Scariolo has finalized his 12-man roster, and that Carlos Suarez has been passed over for Caja Laboral’s Fernando San Emeterio.

Scariolo informed his team of the decision after yesterday’s 79-72 win over Team Slovenia in Ljubljana; he was quoted on the Spanish Basketball Federation’s official website as saying, “We said goodbye to Carlos Suarez with the feeling that with one more year of maturity and experience, he will make a step that will allow him, in my opinion, to be a major player on this team for many years.”

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Team USA still favored in 2010 FIBA World Championship, but should they be?

Just a quick note (and link) for fans of the 2010 FIBA World Championship: Be sure to check out the excellent and extensive thoughts on Team USA by M. Haubs over at ESPN TrueHoop Network blog The Painted Area.

In “Spain, Not Team USA, Should Be Considered Favorites To Win 2010 FIBA Worlds,” Haubs makes a convincing case for the defending Eurobasket champions, who in complete contrast to the red-white-and-blues is returning much of the last FIBA tourney’s roster.

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