Geez, the only surprise in this award is that Euroleague still considers Ricky Rubio a “rising” star. Okay, sure, the Wizard of Barcelona is still only 19 years old, but the truth is he’s been playing top-level European basketball for 4-1/2 years now. Plus, Rubio took the ACB Rising Star Award three years ago, the European Youth Player of the Year three consecutive teams, and the “Mr. Europa” European Player of the Year award in 2008, not to mention earning a second-place finish in the voting for the Euroleague Best Defender nod for 2010.
How can this young hombre still be considered “rising”? How far is Rubio’s upside? (That’s a rhetorical question, Minnesota Timberwolves fans.) It’s a little crazy to assume that just because he’s young, he’s had no career whatsoever and he’s still got a way to go. Young, gifted ballers need to be given a little more credit than that.
Of course, it applies to so many sports – whether you’re a sixteen-year-old 100m prodigy, or a 19-year-old champion, chances are people are going to imply that no matter whether or not you’ve outperformed those with ten-year careers, that you’re a rookie just because you’re young. It’s an odd viewpoint, but one that’s more common than I’m sure Rubio would like.
The official Euroleague writeup of the story notes that Rubio’s “ability to generate highlights without scoring might already be as prodigious as any player in the sport.” No kidding: Why else do you think BallinEurope calls him “The Human YouTube Clip”? Speaking of which, video below the break.