The return of Ricky Rubio: a year with "fear"tears at five in the morning and a gold to chase

The bottom returns with the Cavaliers after his critical knee damage in December 2021, the very best second of his profession. He desires of enjoying within the NBA Finals and Scariolo awaits him to resume the 2019 gold

Ricky Rubio, this week, earlier than a Cavaliers sport.GEORGE FREYEFE

surfed Ricky Rubio the best waves of a race already to recollect. All the guarantees of that baby who Ato Garcia Reneses He made his debut on the age of 14 at Joventut, regardless of the obstacles. The dominance of Europe, the conquest of the NBA, the MVP of a World Cup … And a full maturity that was visited, once more, by the ghost of his cursed knee. Greater than a 12 months later, the time has come to shut the circle.

That December twenty eighth they weren’t Holy Innocents on the Smoothie King Heart in New Orleans. Identical to in 2012, after I was a rookies in Minnesota, the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee blew by means of the air. There have been two minutes remaining and, in opposition to the Pelicans, he had 27 factors, 13 rebounds and 9 assists. Like a bit of over a month earlier than, when he had destroyed the Knicks in Madison with 37 factors (eight of 9 on three-pointers) and 10 assists, his most within the NBA. Like that summer time, when he had change into the highest scorer within the Olympic Video games, 38 factors to Crew USA within the quarterfinals. However 2021, historic for him, had the worst climax in retailer for him.

Every part signifies that it will likely be tonight on the Goal Heart in Portland, or maybe on Saturday on the Minnepolis that noticed him debut. Or, on the newest, on Monday in Cleveland in opposition to the identical Pelicans who received harm (and in opposition to Willy Hernangmez). In any case, the return to the courts of Ricky Rubio, in quest of his twelfth season within the NBA, is imminent. The Catalan has strictly complied with every step in a restoration from which he all the time mentioned he would come again “stronger”. I labored along with his inseparable ral lopez and along with his trusted physiotherapist for years, the canary Jose Mara Sanchez. In latest days he has been passing each essential take a look at, energy, steadiness and conditioning on the pitch, the place it’s typical in five-on-five coaching periods, all the time the final barrier. He even bolstered his setup with the G-League affiliate group, the Expenses. His coach J.B. Bickerstaff, spoke of a gradual entry into the rotation. He’s anticipated to start out enjoying between 15 and 20 minutes per sport and never play again to backs till the break in February for the All Star. As a result of, on the age of 32, the challenges to lock a legendary profession are nonetheless a handful.

“Not half the time”

That’s the reason Ricky, who already declared that it could not be too late to return to El Masnou the place he needs his son to develop up, fully forgot 2022 sportingly. If a decade earlier than it took him 9 months to return to the courts, lacking the London Video games alongside the best way Now he took it simple. “After I was younger, I did not dedicate half the time to it now. You are afraid of relapsing, that is why it is exhausting for me to return,” he admitted a number of weeks in the past on the El Reverso podcast, the place he additionally acknowledged moments of frustration: “I keep in mind Sooner or later, after I arrived at El Masnou two weeks after the operation, I used to be on crutches and didn’t know the way to go down the steps of my home. It was 5 within the morning, with jet lag… and I began to cry”. “After having suffered this damage earlier than, he has an excellent understanding of his physique,” his technician acknowledged in regards to the course of.

Now, alongside the best way, he is even been traded to Indiana. Though it was solely a market motion, since he can’t be extra valued by some Cavaliers skyrocketing in expectations and through which Jose Manuel Calderón occupies an advisory place. In the course of the summer time, already as a free agent, they signed the Spaniard for 3 extra seasons, a contract of 18.4 million {dollars}.

Whereas recovering his tone, Ricky joins probably the most highly effective groups within the NBA, quarterfinals within the Jap Convention. The Cavaliers, who didn’t attain the playoffs final 12 months, have been bolstered with a star like Donovan Mitchell (29.3 factors per sport) -with whom he already shared a locker room in Utah- and attend to the explosion of younger folks as Darius Garland, Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen.

Advancing in a postseason that he solely stepped on (and within the first spherical) throughout his time with the Jazz is one in every of his nice challenges: Ricky desires of enjoying within the NBA Finals. The opposite has to do with the nationwide group, which he’ll lead within the subsequent World Cup in quest of essentially the most tough but, to resume the gold achieved in 2019. Within the Philippines, Ricky would be the veteran main a gaggle that received the Eurobasket in his absence. Scariolo smacks earlier than the couple that may type within the exterior sport with Lawrence Brown.