clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Ricky Rubio’s got a new team and a new look

The ex-Timberwolf is ready for a fresh start in Utah.

NBA: Utah Jazz-Media Day Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

Excuse us if it feels like Ricky Rubio has been in Utah for many years now. Ricky Rubio in his first major press conference with the Utah Jazz spoke as though he had been in the locker room with these guys for years. Ricky’s charisma, humor, and optimism is something that hasn’t been in Utah for a long time. He commands a room and even answered a few questions in Spanish.

While Ricky’s optimistic view of life and basketball is a known quantity, many in Utah are hoping that his new head coach Quin Snyder will help the Rubio take his game to the next level. Ricky Rubio, who is now entering his 7th season, played under 4 coaches in 6 years in Minnesota. With a constant coaching carousel and less than stellar surrounding talent, Rubio has somehow managed to still be plus defender and has overcome his shooting liability to be a positive on the offensive end. All this without a stable presence from the head coach.

Enter Quin Snyder.

In just two months, Ricky says he has talked to Quin Snyder more than any other past coach. That’s more than Rick Aldeman, Flip Saunders, Sam Mitchell, and Tom Thibodeau. Many in the league will say Quin Snyder is one of the best—if not the best—development coach in the league. He’s turned guys like DeMarre Carroll and Joe Ingles into legit 3 and D players. Paul Millsap credited him for his continued progression in Atlanta.

Ricky Rubio has said that Quin Snyder is a player’s coach. In other organizations sometimes that comes off as a guy who’s hands off and let’s the players do their thing. In the Jazz organization, it translates to a coach who cares deeply about the progression of a player’s talents and abilities during his tenure. Under Snyder, you will get better and he will hold you accountable for your improvement.

It might even appear that Ricky has been working on that game by the instruction of the Utah Jazz coaching staff. He said he had been working on his 3 point game while at Eurobasket. It should be noted he averaged four 3s a game with the Spanish Team making 36.3% of them. By the way, 36.3% would be a career high for Ricky if he shot that over a season. Should also be noticed that Ricky has never averaged more than three 3 pointers a game over a season.

Beyond what Ricky is going to bring on the court he’s going to quickly become a fan favorite off the court. He might be the only player on the Utah Jazz roster that can match Joe Ingles wit for wit.

He even had a quick comedic jab at Joe Johnson’s favorite past time: hot yoga.

It might appear that Ricky Rubio is set to have a season to remember. He has a coach who communicates and builds his offense around his abilities. He has a team that is much more talented and made to work for his passing style. He’s out to prove that he was better than what Minnesota thought he was. It’s a new season for Ricky as he told Jody Genessy of the Deseret News.

He’s got a new team. A new look. He’s growing up. It’s going to be a fun year.