Kings Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Sacramento Kings and the NBA.

June 23, 2009
Bee exclusive: Rubio reacts to Kings workout

The old line about how 'It beats digging ditches' still rings true every day on this job, but there are those rare days in which you almost feel like grabbing a shovel instead.

It would be simple, if nothing else. No shame in that.

As for today's shift, there was some shame. It was necessary shame, of course, with grown men huddled outside the Kings practice facility waiting hours to talk to an 18-year-old. Yes, he wasn't just any 18-year-old, but the fact that it was Ricky Rubio didn't make the process any less painful for those who endured it.

The pain was eased, however, when the wait paid off.

I was able to arrange a one-on-one meeting with Rubio at the airport just before he left town, just after the Spanish point guard had finished his workout and visit with the Kings. The exclusive chat can be seen in two parts below. Apologies on the quality, as this came from the cell phone camera and there are two parts because, well, the phone rang halfway through. We'll start here, and I'll share some information and observations regarding the workout after the clips.

This clip begins with Rubio discussing how he hasn't picked up a ball since his Euroleague season ended nearly a month ago...

Now regarding the workout, the sentiment that Rubio was underwhelming was qualified by some (including Rubio) with a disclaimer that the format simply didn't show what he could do. And while I heard similar comments to this Chad Ford report regarding the lack of a wow factor (not impressive athletically, mostly), I had one person who isn't a huge Rubio backer say he was pleasantly surprised by his shot and that it was crystal clear Rubio is a true point guard.

Now the on-floor action wasn't the only relevant part, as Rubio spent more than two hours inside the facility after the workout was over. We were told he was having lunch at one point (not sure who was at the table), and then informed that he was taking a shower. At one point, some of the prospects from the morning's workout with Pitt's Sam Young left the building to head for the airport and couldn't help but chuckle at the media absurdity on display (again, the shame thing). Yet with all due respect to Sam - who has a great name and could be a great pick at No. 23 - he's just not the guy fans are curious about right now.

Now to hit on a final point on this matter, a source close to Rubio said the agreement between him and his current team, DKV Joventut, to reduce his $6.6 million buyout had a small hiccup but should still be finalized soon. All indications remain that it is not an obstacle.

Lastly, the hierarchy of prospects for No. 4 as I understand it is this (yes, knowing full well that smokescreens are everywhere and attempting to work through them): Memphis' Tyreke Evans above Syracuse's Jonny Flynn, with more to be discussed about Rubio and Davidson's Stephen Curry. And sure, I'll keep throwing UConn center Hasheem Thabeet in there as a maybe even if no one thinks he'll be there and even though he rebuffed the Kings and everyone else for a workout. - Sam Amick



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