Ricky Rubio will train with Barça: “I feel strong enough to see how I react with a ball in my hands” | Basketball | Sports

Point guard Ricky Rubio, who at the beginning of January announced his retirement from the NBA after 12 seasons – he reached an agreement with the Cleveland Cavaliers to terminate the contract that united them until the end of the year, with the option of another one -, announced this Monday who has begun the final phase of his recovery from his mental health problems and this Tuesday, January 30, he will begin training with the Barça first basketball team. The 33-year-old Spaniard has not played since April, after recovering from a torn cruciate ligament in his left knee, and leaving the Spanish team’s concentration before the last World Cup to focus on his psychological well-being.

“I’ve been thinking about it for a few weeks and, after working on my mind and body for many weeks, I feel eager and strong to see how I react with a ball in my hands,” the Catalan player published on the social network X. And, in this sense, He added: “My next step has been to ask Barcelona if I could, without any commitment and without interrupting their season plans, train with them. Thank you in advance for your help and understanding with my situation.” “It will be a pleasure to open the doors of the Palau to you. See you soon, Ricky,” Barcelona responded. The Spanish team has also reacted to the news and has assured that “basketball smiles again.”

The point guard’s return to Can Barça has been in the works for some time, with the help and encouragement of Juan Carlos Navarro, Ricky’s former teammate and Barça basketball sports director. “They have been talking to him for a month and a half,” they explain from the club. The goal is that once his recovery is over, Ricky joins the team and joins the squad as a player. Despite this, all parties are cautious, pending first of the evolution of the Catalan athlete. “There are no deadlines of any kind,” they say at Barcelona. When the time comes, they trust that there will be “harmony and understanding.” Money wouldn’t be a problem. The club’s financial situation is delicate, but the player would look for a team in which to finish his career and enjoy basketball.

The elite train that Rubio had been on for almost 20 years, since he debuted at the age of 14 at Joventut in the ACB, came to a screeching halt in August 2023. Then, he decided to stop his professional activity to take care of his mental health. “July 30 was one of the hardest nights of my life,” Ricky admitted about leaving the national team camp. “My mind went to a dark place. I knew I was going in that direction, but I never thought I couldn’t control the situation. The next day I decided to stop my professional career. Someday, when the time comes, I would like to share all my experience with all of you to help other people who are going through similar situations,” he said in that statement. His decision was totally unexpected for his teammates and coaching staff: “It bothers me that I didn’t realize it. I have been with him and we have not been able to see him,” said his friend and national team captain Rudy Fernández.

The career of the legend of the Spanish team and cross of sporting merit – he won a World Cup, of which he was MVP, two Europeans and an Olympic silver – has been up in the air since then. He is now approaching the final phase of his recovery and returns to the last club he played with in Europe before flying to the NBA. Ricky arrived at Barcelona four years after his debut with Joventut in 2005 and was Euroleague champion the following season. A Barça player for two seasons (2009-2010 and 2010-2011), he made the American leap after 205 European matches, three Cups, two Super Cups and one League.

The life of the athlete, who has won everything in Europe, has been marked by the loss of his mother, Tona, to lung cancer in 2016 and after four years of fighting the disease. “That taught me to ask myself: Why do I have to hide? If I’m bad, why do I have to say I’m good? Saying that being bad, or crying, is not weakness, but the opposite. Expressing your feelings is a symbol of strength. I went through depression. My passion, basketball, was no longer. I wouldn’t be the person I am today without living that experience. And how do you stop a train that is going 200 per hour? You can not. But it affected me. He had two paths. Blame the rest of everything that happened to me or learn from it and be stronger. Before, basketball was the most important thing, it was my philosophy of life, and it is no longer. “I don’t want to be just the basketball player,” he told of the tough personal journey he went through.

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