On Thursday afternoon, Ricky Rubio announced that he was retiring from the NBA after 12 years.
That means that the last team he played for in the association was the Cleveland Cavaliers, and they were ready to celebrate him after his big announcement.
President of Basketball Operations Koby Altman released a statement about Rubio, reminding fans of all that he brought to the team during his two seasons.
“Ricky Rubio embodied everything a franchise would want from such an accomplished player, who helped instill a confidence and leadership quality that still resonates within our team,” Altman said.
“Ricky Rubio embodied everything a franchise would want from such an accomplished player, who helped instill a confidence and leadership quality that still resonates within our team.”
– President of Basketball Operations, Koby Altman. pic.twitter.com/WFpl7XPjTS
— Cleveland Cavaliers (@cavs) January 5, 2024
Some could be surprised to hear such a response from Altman, considering Rubio only played in Cleveland for two seasons and a grand total of just 67 games.
But Rubio did a lot for the team during that short time.
His average with the Cavaliers was 9.2 points, 3.1 rebounds, and 5.1 assists but he did so much more than that.
As noted by Altman, Rubio brought strong leadership skills to the Cavaliers, and they had a profound impact on the rest of the team, especially the younger players who had just entered the league.
Rubio was happy to take on a mentorship role when he signed up with the Cavaliers in 2021.
He had already spent years in the league and had found great success as one of the smartest guards around, and he wanted to impart a lot of that wisdom to a new generation of players.
He immediately started working with the team’s frontcourt and helped them find confidence, which lives on to this day.
Rubio didn’t spend a lot of time with the Cavaliers and he didn’t play in many games but it’s clear that he did a lot for the team.