While Team USA managed to outlast Spain in an Olympic battle on Tuesday, Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant took time to praise the efforts of Spain’s Ricky Rubio.
Of course, the Cavaliers acquired the veteran guard last week.
“They’re asking him to score more here,” Durant said. “In the league, for the teams that he’s been on, they want him to run the show more and get guys involved. That just shows he can play a different style and is a versatile player. Come out here and score the way he was scoring, the shots that he was making showed he had that scorer’s mentality. One-leggers off the glass, getting into the paint, shooting deep threes. Ricky is a true pro, and there’s a reason why so many teams want him part of their program year after year. He’s just showcasing that he can be more than just be a setup guard.”
While Team USA managed to win 95-81, Rubio led all scorers with 38 points.
Rubio, who turns 31 in October, has never been a prolific scorer in the NBA and is joining the Cavaliers with a career average of 11.0 points per game.
However, Rubio’s Olympic outburst shows that the veteran can inject offense into a Cavaliers lineup that badly needs to improve after three consecutive miserable seasons.
Rubio’s dream of an Olympic gold medal may have come up short, but it’s clear that he made a positive impression on one of the NBA’s top superstars.