Everything is going to be new for Ricky Rubio this year.
New team. New country. New teammates. New coach. New weather. New league.
And with the lockout claiming 16 games from the schedule and giving Minnesota and the other teams a truncated 66-game schedule to play through, it will be a very new schedule for Rubio and a lot of the players in the league. But for a foreign player like Rubio, it can be a pretty big culture shock.
Deron Williams already commented on the difference in European basketball culture compared to the U.S.And even with an 82-game schedule NBA basketball culture might be different enough to shock Rubio.
“Yesterday I was looking at my schedule and putting it in my iPad and I was saying 16, 17, 18,” Rubio said according to Timberwolves.com. “I mean, three games in a row? What the hell?”
Rubio was probably joking a bit there. The lockout creates a rushed schedule that is much more difficult than normal. But I bet he would be just as shocked and surprised by the normal stretch of games NBA teams have to play.
After all, European professional schedules are more like college schedules with two games per week and practices in between. Many European teams have two-a-day practices in the middle of the season.
The NBA is much different. Teams average around four games per week (this year it will be around five or so) with light 1.5 hour practices in between. Very different indeed.
Rubio will enjoy it. And hopefully he will enjoy playing with slimmer Kevin Love and rookie Derrick Williams when training camp opens today.