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 says in two months he's talked to Quin Snyder more than any other coach. #jazz— Brittany Copeland (@brittanydiehl) September 25, 2017
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.
Ricky Rubio on Quin Snyder: He's a players coach, he has a high IQ and it's great having that kind of chemistry with a coach— Tony Jones (@tribjazz) September 25, 2017
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.
Ricky Rubio says he took the summer to improve his 3 point shooting at the Euro Tournament #jazz— Brittany Copeland (@brittanydiehl) September 25, 2017
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.
Joe Ingles said being teammates with Ricky Rubio in Spain was like being around Justin Bieber.— Kyle Goon (@kylegoon) September 25, 2017
He even had a quick comedic jab at Joe Johnson’s favorite past time: hot yoga.
Ricky Rubio on if Joe Johnson has sold him on hot yoga. "No." turns to Joe: "Something I need to know?" #utahjazz #NBAMediaDay— John Coon (@johncoonsports) September 25, 2017
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.
Ricky Rubio on his new (much hairier) look: "Change the team. Change the look. Growing up."— Jody Genessy (@DJJazzyJody) September 25, 2017
He’s got a new team. A new look. He’s growing up. It’s going to be a fun year.