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Ball Don't Lie

Ricky Rubio plays Connect 4 Basketball on Spanish talk show (VIDEO)

Dan Devine
Ball Don't Lie

Ricky Rubio's been on the shelf since tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee on March 10, an injury that helped torpedo the upstart Minnesota Timberwolves' bid for a Western Conference playoff berth and put the rookie point guard on a path that would include surgery and months of rehabilitation. Wolves fans recently got some good news on Rubio's recovery, as he told the Spanish publication Sport.es that he's targeting a December return, meaning Minnesota could have its exciting young triggerman back in action for more than two-thirds of the upcoming season.

Rubio didn't do too much moving around during an appearance on the Spanish talk show "El Hormiguero," translated as "The Anthill," this week. (Those puppets you see bopping in front of Rubio at the start of the video above are ants who live in the anthill. Their names are Trancas and Barrancas, apparently taken from the Spanish expression for "in fits and starts," and now I want them on every American talk show.) But he did look spry in taking on host Pablo Motos in a jump-shot-based game of Connect Four, which is something I was unaware existed, because I clearly do not watch nearly enough "Family Game Night" on The Hub.

Apparently Mr. Motos is a sharp tack when it comes to trying to put four things in a row and he must've known all about Ricky's dodgy touch on the J — 26.7 percent from between 10 and 15 feet, 34 percent from between 16 and 23 feet, and 34 percent from 3-point range, according to Hoopdata's shot location stats — because he showed no fear in stepping to the line against the 21-year-old NBA sophomore-to-be. It looks like Rubio's been working on that stroke while laid up, though, because he hit all five of his shots en route to dispatching the host with a classic bottom-row placement. (Kudos to Motos for making it interesting, though.)

So Ricky's upright, mobile, hitting shots and planning to be back in our lives by New Year's. The only bad news, near as I can tell, is that I can't regularly watch NBA players compete in Connect 4 Basketball games on the reg. I'm not saying we should add it to All-Star Weekend or anything, but I refuse to believe this wouldn't add a bit of spice (and perhaps gambling intrigue) to the daily shooting contests players have at practices. Maybe now that Ricky's had a taste, it'll pop up at the Wolves' practice facility this fall.

Video via antena3.

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