The Minnesota Timberwolves were bracing for bad news on the injury to senational rookie point guard Ricky Rubio (192-G-90) and got it: He's done for the season, the team confirmed Saturday.
Rubio, 21, tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in the team's 105-102 home loss Friday to the Los Angeles Lakers. An MRI on Saturday confirmed the injury.
The Timberwolves said Rubio will have surgery but no date has been set.
'Obviously, Ricky's injury is an unfortunate turn of events for him and our team,' said David Kahn, Timberwolves president of basketball operations. 'I feel bad for Ricky having to miss the rest of this season. But Ricky is a competitor, and I am confident that he will work hard to get back on the court next year and continue his progression as one of the top point guards in our league.'
With rehabilitation for such an injury anywhere from six to nine months, it also means Rubio will be unable to play for his native Spain in the 2012 London Olympics.
'All my support to my big friend and teammate (at)rickyrubio9,' tweeted Toronto Raptors guard and fellow Spainiard Jose Calderon. 'Hard news about his knee. He'll be back stronger.'
Rubio's extraordinary passing has been the talk of the league and brought fans back to Target Center, with chants of 'Ole! Ole!' regularly heard.
Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade tweeted Saturday afternoon: 'Ricky Rubio's injury isn't 1 that any basketball fan wanted 2 C. He's had an amazing rookie season & has brought life back 2 a franchise.'
And Heat teammate LeBron James tweeted, 'S/O to Ricky Rubio! Have a speedy and successful recovery.'
Rubio, who had 15 points, 10 assists and four rebounds against the Lakers, had to be helped off the floor in the final 16 seconds after his left knee buckled before a collision with Los Angeles guard Kobe Bryant.
It appeared that Rubio's knee buckled as he fell backwards and Bryant didn't make contact with the knee. The Minneapolis Star Tribune reported Rubio fell to the floor clutching his knee after he had planted his left foot and tried to block Bryant's path.
Rubio, who was called for a blocking foul on the play, had to be helped off the floor. He was in pain in the locker room after the game and did not talk to news reporters.
The loss was Minnesota's first at home since Feb. 11 against the New York Knicks.
Rubio and All-Star forward Kevin Love, under the guidance of veteran coach Rick Adelman in his first season with Minnesota, have helped the Timberwolves become a factor in the Western Conference again. Entering Saturday's action they were 21-20, 1/2 a game out of the eighth and final playoff berth, after going 6-4 in the last 10 games.
'Love my teammate and friend (at)rickyrubio9,' Love tweeted. 'Here's to a quick recovery. We will miss you.'
The Timberwolves last made the playoffs in 2003-04, when Kevin Garnett was still with the team. Minnesota has finished below .500 the past six seasons, including 17-65 in 2010-11.
'We have 25 games left this season, and I look for our team to continue to play hard and fight for a playoff spot,' Kahn said.
Rubio, who has started 31 of his 41 games played, is averaging 10.6 points, 8.2 assists and 4.2 rebounds in 34 minutes. But it's his passing that gets everyone excited.
As Hall of Famer Magic Johnson is quoted on the Timberwolves' Twitter feed, 'There's a difference between passing to somebody and creating a shot for a guy. Rubio creates a shot.'
Rookie Malcolm Lee, who has not played this season, was brought up from the Development League and activated for Saturday's game against the New Orleans Hornets. Lee had surgery in preseason to repair torn knee cartilage.
The injury also likely scuttles any plans the Timberwolves had for possible deals ahead of Thursday's trading deadline. In addition to Lee at guard, the Timberwolves have starter Luke Ridnour and reserve J.J. Barea, but the latter has a sprained left ankle that kept him out against the Lakers.
Wesley Johnson and Martell Webster are swingmen who also can play at guard.
Lucentum signs Alejandro Gomez-Arrones - 18 hours ago
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HLA Lucentum Alicante (LEB Silver) signed 30-year old guard Alejandro Gomez-Arrones (190-87). He played last season at Myrtia in the EBA. In 28 games he had 9.8ppg, 4.8rpg, 2.3apg and 1.4spg. Gomez-Arrones helped them to end the regular season as a second best team in the league. He has played previously for five other teams: Andorra, Torrevieja, Un.Cordoba, L'Alfas and Begastri. By Eurobasket Data Center Check also Complete Transfers List in Spain [read more]
HLA Lucentum Alicante (LEB Silver) signed 30-year old guard Alejandro Gomez-Arrones (190-87). He played last season at Myrtia in the EBA. In 28 games he had 9.8ppg, 4.8rpg, 2.3apg and 1.4spg. Gomez-Arrones helped them to end the regular season as a second best team in the league. He has played previously for five other teams: Andorra, Torrevieja, Un.Cordoba, L'Alfas and Begastri.
Gijon Basket 2015 (EBA) tabbed American center Brian Stone (203-109kg, college: Malone). He played recently at Louisville Diesel (UBA) in the U.S. Stone's team made it to the GLIAC Tournament Semifinals in 2014. He graduated from Malone University in 2016 and it is his first season in pro basketball. By Eurobasket Data Center Check also Complete Transfers List in Spain [read more]
Gijon Basket 2015 (EBA) tabbed American center Brian Stone (203-109kg, college: Malone). He played recently at Louisville Diesel (UBA) in the U.S. Stone's team made it to the GLIAC Tournament Semifinals in 2014. He graduated from Malone University in 2016 and it is his first season in pro basketball.
Baskonia Vitoria Gasteiz (Liga Endesa) added to their roster 27-year old Argentinian international point guard Nicolas Laprovittola (193-90). He supposed to play at San Antonio Spurs in the NBA, but left the team in Dec.'16. In 16 games he recorded 3.7ppg and 1 [read more]
Baskonia Vitoria Gasteiz (Liga Endesa) added to their roster 27-year old Argentinian international point guard Nicolas Laprovittola (193-90). He supposed to play at San Antonio Spurs in the NBA, but left the team in Dec.'16. In 16 games he recorded 3.7ppg and 1.8apg this season. The most of last season Laprovittola spent at Movistar Estudiantes where in 20 Liga Endesa games he averaged 13.8ppg, 2.9rpg, 4.4apg and 1.6spg (in top 3). He also played earlier that season for Lietuvos rytas in Lithuanian LKL. In 17 games he had 10.3ppg, 2.2rpg, 3.8apg and 1.2spg. Laprovittola also played 10 games in Eurocup where he got 12.1ppg, 4.3rpg, 5.5apg and 1.6spg. The list of the past achievements is quite long as among others he was voted Latinbasket.com All-Brazilian League Import Player of the Year back in 2014. Laprovittola has been also a member of Argentinian international program for some years. He has regularly played for Argentinian senior team since 2011 and previously for U19 National Team in 2009. Laprovittola also represented Argentina at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) last year. His stats at that event were 5 games: 8.8ppg, 1.6rpg, 2.8apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 41.2%, 3PT: 35.3%, FT: 80.0%. Laprovittola's career allowed him to visit three different continents. He tasted the life as pro basketball player in Europe, Latin America and of course North America. Laprovittola has played previously professionally in Brazil (Flamengo) and Argentina (Lanus). On Laprovittola:
A very talented PG, has great shooting range and scoring ability. Has an high basketball IQ, personality and court vision. Can defend hard, and can yet quarterback senior teams with success. Huge upside, even at top level.
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