Originally posted on Ball in Europe  |  Last updated 1/4/12
Most observers are amazed at the early success of Spanish wunderkind Ricky Rubio in the NBA, but at least a couple San Antonio Spurs are claiming to have known this was destined all along. Tiago Splitter, whose Caja Laboral Baskonia met Rubio’s FC Barcelona many a time since the lad debuted in the ACB at age 14, is quoted over at Spanish-league Tu Basket that he was “amazed at the way [Rubio]’s playing with freedom. In Spain, he was on a team under a lot of pressure to win it all. Here, the coach is giving him the ball in the fourth quarter and he’s playing with confidence. That’s hard to do in the first year.” Splitter cited Minnesota Timberwolves coach Rick Adelman as a key factor in Rubio’s early NBA success. As TuBasket points out, with Barcelona, Rubio was bound in Xavi Pascual’s more rigid style and ultimately lost playing time to Victor Sada, who was better equipped to handle the offensive game plan – despite Rubio’s well above-average play in pick-and-roll sets. Currently, R...
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Marshawn Lynch gives an already-spurned city hometown appeal

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Draft prospects we're most excited to see in the NFL

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