Happy Birthday, Ricky Rubio

23 years ago today, existence finally began.

On October 21, 1990, in the town of El Masnou, Spain, at the behest of the Basketball Gods, the universe begat unto us Ricard “Ricky” Rubio i Vives. And it was good. For all that was evil and malicious in the world, one was born who could change the course of humanity for the better.

It didn’t take long for Rubio to realize the reason that he’d been put on this planet. From his website:

Soon I saw my brother Marc playing basketball better than anyone, and it was probably when I was watching him that I was bitten by the basketball bug. I wanted to do the incredible things that he did, in fact, when I went with my mother at the age of 4 to watch my brother train, I never stopped asking when I could start to go to training and in the stands I kept imitating my brother, until one day I was given a test and they told me that I didn’t do badly at all, so that was where I started out in the sport that so far is my favourite of all.


And that was how in September 1995 (at the age of 4) I joined my local club: El Masnou Basketball, playing in a mini-basketball team until the year 2001, although in fact I always played more in the U-12 or U-13 categories than in my own.

via Ricky Rubio | Web Oficial – Biografía.

The road to redemption is fraught with temptation and distraction, however. When Rubio was 10, the demon of soccer came to him and tried to dissuade him from his chosen path. Soccer offered acceptance. Soccer offered untold riches and control of nations. And at his weakest, Rubio showed his human side and dabbled in the devil’s offerings. Rubio’s father knew better than to push against his son, so he allowed such sins, knowing full well that nothing that soccer could offer to young Ricky could truly strip him of his destiny. Before long, Rubio realized that he couldn’t control the flow of a game in soccer the same way that he could in basketball. He asked his father, a “basketball coach and a pathological hoops fan,” if he might return to the hardwood. Such was Rubio’s revelation.

13 years later, the only thing in which Rubio dabbles is the divine. Feliz cumpleaños, Ricky. Here’s hoping you get the only thing that’s on your wishlist: a happy, healthy year with happy, healthy teammates in Minnesota.

Andrew Lynch

When God Shammgod created the basketball universe, Andrew Lynch was there. His belief in the superiority of advanced statistics and the eventual triumph of expected value-based analytics stems from the fact that he’s roughly as old as the concept of counting. With that said, he still loves the beauty of basketball played at the highest level — it reminds him of the splendor of the first Olympics — and the stories that spring forth from the games, since he once beat Homer in a game of rock-paper-scissors over a cup of hemlock. Dude’s old.