Matt Moore of Hardwood Paroxysm wrote a nice piece about how Navarro relates to Rubio’s decision to stay in Spain for two more seasons.
The impression you get from interviews with Navarro is that he just didn’t care that much about the NBA. He loves Spain. It’s his home. And versus the States, where there will be constant questions about his style, his ability, and his talent simply because he hasn’t played in the AAU tournaments or Rucker Park or the NCAA Tournament, in Spain, he’s considered mega-successful. Would you rather be a pauper in heaven or a prince in Hell? What if Hell was actually your home, and instead of the brimstone pits, it was nice beaches, beautiful women, amazing food and way more money than you can make in heaven? The assumption that every great basketball player in the world will always have the competitive fire to be the best no matter the cost is, I’m sorry, a gigantic crock. It’s a fallacy brought upon us by Jordan, Garnett, and Nike.
Moore goes on to discuss how Navarro’s experience might affect Rubio.
In an interview a few weeks ago, Navarro was talking about giving Rubio advice. You have to wonder how that’s going to play out for Minnesota. From all accounts, which Wolves fans will happily remind you of every thirty seconds, Rubio wants to play in the NBA more than anything in the world. It’s his dream, whatever that means. That certainly wasn’t the case with Navarro, who was always kind of like, “eh.” So even if Navarro is trying to warn him off of going to a terrible team for less money, he may not listen. Plus, the Wolves are in much better shape than the Grizzlies were in 07-08. But the fact remains that everyone talks about Rubio’s game developing as he gets older. What about his personality? What if he learns to really love his life in Spain as he gets older and gets to enjoy being a young man making millions of dollars in an awesome city?
I lived in Memphis for three years and visited Barcelona on a whirlwind trip through Europe, and I can say that there is a lot of truth to Moore’s words. The NBA is clearly the best league in the world, but the European leagues have improved and the money is about the same (or in JCN’s case, much more). Why would a Spaniard in his mid-twenties choose to take less money to play for a bad team in Memphis instead if playing ball in beautiful Barcelona?
Ricky Rubio was faced with a similar decision this year, only it was Minneapolis, not Memphis. And he chose to stay in Spain for a while. Will he ever come over? Probably. As the post states, it has always been Rubio’s dream to play in the NBA. He may not play for the T-Wolves, but I think he will eventually join the league.