June 20, 2011
Two years ago, David Kahn caused a commotion when he drafted Spanish wunderkind Ricky Rubio(notes) and immediately alienated him by taking another point guard, the as-of-now disappointing Jonny Flynn(notes), with the very next pick. Rubio, who until then had seemed sure to come to the NBA at the age of 18, instead went back to Spain.
After much convincing on the part of Kahn and his underlings, Rubio is now coming to the NBA. On Monday, he got his first taste of the Minnesota fans and press as he arrived at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. You can watch the video from the scene above, courtesy of ESPN 1500 Twin Cities (via SB Nation).
Rubio's reaction to setting foot on Minnesotan soil is nondescript apart from the fact that his Wolves cap seems to be placed on top of his well-groomed hair so lightly that even the slightest breeze would blow it off. But the Wolves added some flair to the proceedings with a boombox playing Gary Glitter's hit jock jam "Rock and Roll Part 2" (which, it should be noted, is a little creepy considering Glitter was convicted on child pornography charges in 1999 and Rubio's charisma is talked about in terms usually reserved for teen pop idols). There's also a sizable contingent of fans and press at the baggage claim area, with the video-taker guessing approximately equal numbers of each.
Rubio's career will ultimately see his reputation decided on the court rather than in terms of his tabloid appeal. But his high-profile arrival in Minneapolis stands as a reminder that, no matter what he does for Minnesota, he's an exciting presence in the league that fans have been awaiting for a long time. Even if he's a bust, he'll make the Wolves a relevant team in NBA discussions once again.