Hampered by an ACL injury that cut into his second NBA season, Ricky Rubio watched in envy last summer as Spain took the United States to the brink of a gold-medal upset in the London Olympics.
Monday, he spent good chunks of time sitting and observing his national team, too, even though nothing was reportedly wrong with him.
As Rubio's production at Eurobasket 2013 has slipped, so has usually-mighty Spain. The two-time defending champions snuck past the second and final round-robin stage into the tournament's single-elimination championship bracket but went 1-2 during the second round and haven't been receiving the contributions they expect from Rubio.
In Monday's 86-81, overtime loss to Italy, Rubio played just 16 minutes. In three second-stage games, he scored a total of 12 points, dished out five assists and shot 5-for-15 from the floor.
With Minnesota's No. 5 overall pick in 2011 representing his country on the other side of the world in Slovenia, it'...