Ricky Rubio, in many ways, is an improving version of the same player he was when he first played an NBA game in 2011. He’s a great passer with exceptional vision and knowledge of the point guard position. He’s an adept defender. He’s a subpar shooter and finisher at the rim. That’s the Ricky that was advertised when the Wolves drafted him out of Spain in 2009; that’s the Ricky we still know in 2015.
But while we’ve seen only gradual evolution in his game, we’ve seen dramatic changes in one key area: Rubio’s hair. Every year, it seems, he shows off a new look — a fashion forward point guard. To illustrate what I mean, I’ve put together a little gallery of images — one from each year from 2009-15. Here we go:
Here’s Ricky on draft night in 2009. He was 18 years old, and that flow pretty much says it all: youth, exuberance, hope. (AP photo).
Now we have Rubio still playing in Spain in 2010, though if you didn’t know any better you might think it was the 1960s and you were looking at the fifth Beatle. (AP photo)
Fast-forward to 2011, when Rubio arrived in Minnesota for his rookie season. It’s still fairly similar to 2010, though the cut is a little tighter and he’s starting to work a beard into the mix. (Star Tribune photo)
And now the 2012 offseason, when Rubio was sidelined with a torn ACL. This look says a lot: I’m a little hipster. I’m a little sad. If the Lumineers called and needed a backup “Hey!” shouter on a leg of their tour in Spain, he would have listened. (Star Tribune photo).
Here’s Rubio in the 2013 preseason, looking far more earnest — a look that says, “I’m here to prove the doubters wrong.” (Star Tribune photo).
Fast-forward to the 2014 preseason, with Rubio going with a more polished look. If he walked into a haircut emporium and said, “Give me ‘the American’” I wouldn’t be surprised. (Star Tribune photo).
And finally his 2015 look, an even more styled-up ‘do and a purposeful beard. It seems like it requires maintenance, but so far it’s working: the Wolves are 4-2 and an unbelievable 4-0 on the road. (Star Tribune photo)