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Ricky Rubio

I’m probably enjoying it a little too much, but watching Ricky Rubio and Spain struggle in the FIBA Worlds has been more entertaining than it probably should be. I suppose I view them as a sports rival now, thanks to the 2008 Gold Medal game. With that in mind, it’s safe to say I enjoyed Lithuania beating Spain, giving them their second loss in group play, and threatening their chances of advancing to the knock-out rounds.

Perhaps the defining play of the game was when Mantas Kalnietis, on an inbounds play, caught Rubio not paying attention, bounced the ball off his back and proceeded to hit a layup while a perplexed Rubio looked on, hanging his head.

That, sir, is not the kind of attention to detail on defense you need if you want your team to advance — especially in a tight, competitive game.

The question I have concerning Spain is, was their close loss to the Team USA’s “B team” during the exhibition portion of the FIBA World’s the high point for that squad? A close loss is still a loss, and no team should put that much stock into taking a group of NBA players to the wire, unless it’s Angola, circa 1992. The days of moral victories against the United States should be a thing of the past, specifically, when teams like Spain are involved.

H/t to Ball in Europe for the video find.