”I’m going to be honest. I’m not feeling comfortable out there,” Rubio told The Associated Press after a light practice on Thursday. ”I’m not being myself and the team is noticing. I just have to be back where I was, be myself. I’m working on that. It’s something that’s missing. It’s tough for me, too.”
One of the reasons I love Jon Krawzclvzcxyki’s writing is he balances the click-bait quotes with reasons for previously disavowing their existence…
Rubio’s shooting numbers have never been great, but harping on that always seemed to be nitpicking for a player who sprinkled magic point guard dust all over the court – slipping passes through a defender’s legs for an open 3-point shot, picking a player’s pocket to start a fast break and seeing windows open before the defenders knew what hit them.
Even when he wasn’t starting his rookie season, the arena would crackle when he stepped to the scorer’s table to check in and his teammates’ eyes would widen in anticipation of a passes that came from impossible angles. It was still there last season when he returned from a torn ACL in December, even though his body took some time to ramp back up to the NBA’s pace of play.
”It’s basketball. I love it,” Rubio said. ”But I’m just not having as much fun as it used to be. I know it has to be professional. But I just want to have fun. It’s hard to find it right now.”
Having fun may sound trite in the big business world of the NBA, but there is no denying that the Timberwolves derived a certain confidence from the flair, the flash and the precision that come when he’s humming. And the Timberwolves’ once promising foundation is starting to crack beneath his feet.
”He gets really down on himself too much,” Wolves coach Rick Adelman said. ”I think he’s just got to play and make the real easy play. It doesn’t have to be a great play. When something doesn’t happen for him, he tries so hard that he just kind of compounds it.
”So I think he’s going to be fine. He’s going to come out of it. He didn’t play well last night, but he’s not the Lone Ranger in that regard.”