Rubio's loss will hinder Wolves

  • Article by: SID HARTMAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 10, 2012 - 10:58 PM

The team is going to be hurt at the box office far more than from the absence of any other player in Timberwolves history.

hide

Wolves point guard Ricky Rubio held his left knee after he tore his ACL against the Lakers on Friday.

Photo: Jim Mone, Associated Press

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

Some of our readers believe I've been writing since B.C.

Yes, believe me, I have been doing this a long time and watched all of the professional teams suffer serious injuries. But the fact that point guard Ricky Rubio will be out for the rest of the season after suffering a torn left ACL on Friday night against the Lakers will affect the franchise in many ways and is the most serious one I've encountered for more than one reason.

Yes, a similar knee injury suffered by Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was a serious situation, but the Vikings weren't going anyplace and despite how great a player he is, Peterson hasn't captivated the fans like Rubio has.

Forget about what Rubio contributed on the court. Until Friday night, when he went 5-for-12 from the field and added four free throws, Rubio had been in a shooting slump and not playing as much as he was earlier in the season.

But Wolves coach Rick Adelman has stuck with Rubio, who has had the advantage of being tutored by assistant coach Terry Porter, one of the great guards in the history of the NBA.

Rest assured, the Timberwolves are going to be hurt in the standings with Rubio out for the year, but in the rookie's case, the team is going to be hurt at the box office far more than from the absence of any other player in Timberwolves history.

Sales of his jerseys have not only been on the top of the list here, but nationally he ranks with the best. You heard more Rubio talk than about any recent pro athlete.

What surprised me is the number of people who overnight became Rubio fans, those who had never watched the Timberwolves play since their inception.

The Wolves were averaging 2,100 more fans than they were a year ago and they were getting full price for tickets, something they didn't get a year ago.

Rubio overnight became one of the most popular players among the pro athletes in the Twin Cities.

"For two years Ricky Rubio was an NBA draft pick stewing in his native Spain. Now he is spreading joy in Minnesota with his artful passes and spirited play" wrote Lee Jenkins in Sports Illustrated.

Added Jenkins about Rubio's demeanor while still in Spain: "Rubio barked at teammates who didn't make proper cuts in practice and cussed himself for missed shots. He is far from the stereotypical soft Euro. Then again, when he needed a break, he popped in a DVD of 'The Lion King.'"

In describing Rubio early in the season, Adelman said: "Rubio has meant a lot to this team, especially with the fan base as well. On and off the court, he's been great.

"He's refreshing. He's a very refreshing kid to be around because he enjoys playing the game so much, he enjoys working on the game. Every day he comes to practice and gives it his all. He's meant a lot to this team in turning it around. Like I mentioned with us knocking on the door, he's helping us."

It will be interesting to see what the results will be on the floor and at the box office without the popular kid from Spain. In their first game without him, the Wolves lost 95-89 to New Orleans on Saturday night, playing what Adelman called some of their worst defense of the season.

High on Valencia

Twins General Manager Terry Ryan expects a lot out of third baseman Danny Valencia this season, even though there was criticism of his play a year ago.

"There's nothing wrong with Valencia. He has a high ceiling," Ryan said. "He's one of those guys we're going to be looking forward to at least, he's being a threat in the lineup to hit the ball and he can hit it over the fence. He can do a lot of things and we're looking for him to take the next step forward.

"He ought to be in that All-Star area of at least being in the conversation, because he has all the requisites to be a complete third baseman. It's up to him, but he's a pretty good player."

Ryan believes the experience of Valencia's first two seasons with the Twins will make him better this year.

"I think there was a little concern about his first-step quickness, maybe his range," Ryan said. "Young players, it's just going on his second year, second-plus, but some players take their at-bats to the field, stuff like that. That comes with youth. But you were right, he was one of our better players and we just need to have him go out there on a consistent basis and get the consistency that we're looking for."

Kill's connection with Weber

Gophers football coach Jerry Kill was upset to hear Illinois had fired basketball coach Bruce Weber after working with Weber when Kill was football coach at Southern Illinois.

When Weber was hired by Illinois, assistant Matt Painter became the head coach while Kill was still at Southern Illinois. Painter is now Purdue's head coach.

SID'S JOTTINGS

• Wisconsin has lost six assistant coaches, and now running backs coach Thomas Hammock, who left the Gophers to join the Badgers staff, has been interviewed for a position with the St. Louis Rams. Badgers offensive line coach Bob Bostad, who left Wisconsin to go to the University of Pittsburgh, has moved again, this time to become line coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The assistant line coach with the Bucs will be former Vikings offensive line coach Steve Loney. ... And incidentally, Iowa lost its defensive coordinator, Norm Parker, who retired, and its offensive coordinator, Ken O'Keefe, who after 13 years with the Hawkeyes has joined the Miami Dolphins.

• Michael Floyd, the former Cretin-Derham Hall star and Notre Dame wide receiver, ran a time of 4.41 seconds in the 40-yard dash at the NFL combine to assure him of being a No. 1 draft choice.

• Bloomington Jefferson football coach Jon Leverenz, a former Gophers linebacker, resigned in November. Leverenz, who had little help in the community developing young athletes, will still coach the Jaguars track team.

• Minneapolis native and former Holy Angels basketball star Troy Bell is playing for Pellacanestro Sant'Antimo in Italy. He is leading the team in scoring at 23.4 points per game and is second in rebounding at 6.8 per game.

• Former Gophers starter Seth Rosin told the San Jose Mercury News that he might stay in his role as a reliever in the Giants' minor league system. "They want to see guys in different roles at those [minor league] levels," Rosin said. "Something really clicked for me in the bullpen, where I was able to use everything I had in short stints. It worked well." Rosin is in major league camp with the Giants but expects to start the season at high Class A San Jose. Rosin pitched 122/3 innings of relief in the Arizona Fall League, posting a 2.13 ERA with nine strikeouts.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

New England 2/1/15 5:30 PM
Seattle
Dallas 6:00 PM
Orlando
Sacramento 6:00 PM
Indiana
Toronto 6:00 PM
Washington
Houston 6:30 PM
Detroit
Philadelphia 6:30 PM
Atlanta
Cleveland 7:00 PM
Minnesota
Oklahoma City 7:00 PM
Memphis
Portland 7:30 PM
Milwaukee
LA Clippers 8:00 PM
San Antonio
Charlotte 8:00 PM
Denver
Phoenix 9:30 PM
Golden State
Washington 0 3rd Prd
Montreal 0
NY Islanders 0 2nd Prd
Detroit 1
Arizona 2:00 PM
Ottawa
Los Angeles 6:00 PM
Boston
Florida 6:00 PM
New Jersey
Carolina 6:00 PM
NY Rangers
Toronto 6:00 PM
Philadelphia
Dallas 6:00 PM
Winnipeg
Columbus 6:30 PM
Tampa Bay
Edmonton 9:00 PM
Calgary
Chicago 9:30 PM
San Jose
Boston College 49 FINAL
Clemson 64
Western Mich 63 FINAL
Eastern Mich 69
NC State 81 FINAL
Georgia Tech 80
Wisconsin 74 FINAL
Iowa 63
Stony Brook 48 FINAL
New Hampshire 63
Notre Dame 72 FINAL
Pittsburgh 76
Providence 66 FINAL
St Johns 75
Davidson 70 FINAL
Saint Josephs 75
Xavier 82 FINAL
Seton Hall 90
Tulane 37 FINAL
Temple 55
Auburn 63 FINAL
Tennessee 71
Texas Tech 58 FINAL
West Virginia 77
Arkansas 51 2nd Half 3:29
Florida 55
Penn State 53 2nd Half 6:39
Illinois 56
Lipscomb 69 2nd Half 2:23
Stetson 69
South Florida 62 2nd Half 1:34
Tulsa 60
Bradley 54 2nd Half 0:35
Indiana State 63
UMass Lowell 27 2nd Half
Binghamton 28
Green Bay 19 1st Half 0:13
Cleveland State 30
Georgetown 26 1st Half 0:35
Creighton 17
Coll of Charleston 33 2nd Half
Delaware 29
Villanova 23 1st Half 4:52
DePaul 28
Vermont 26 2nd Half
Hartford 20
TCU 33 2nd Half
Iowa State 35
Kennesaw St 23 2nd Half
Jacksonville 20
Kansas State 17 2nd Half
Kansas 33
Boston Univ 23 2nd Half
Lehigh 45
Illinois State 26 2nd Half
Loyola-Chicago 19
Albany 30 2nd Half
Maine 27
Butler 29 2nd Half
Marquette 26
LSU 28 2nd Half
Miss State 31
Mount St Marys 41 2nd Half
Sacred Heart 33
Richmond 22 2nd Half
VA Commonwealth 28
Virginia Tech 28 2nd Half
Wake Forest 32
IUPU-Ft Wayne 27 2nd Half
Nebraska Omaha 29
Arkansas State 12 1st Half 3:54
Georgia State 27
Loyola-Maryland 2:00 PM
Army
Tenn Tech 2:00 PM
Belmont
Bethune-Cookman 2:00 PM
Florida A&M
Valparaiso 2:00 PM
Ill-Chicago
UAB 2:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Idaho State 2:00 PM
North Dakota
Evansville 2:05 PM
Drake
Rutgers 2:15 PM
Indiana
Ball State 2:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Southern U 3:00 PM
Alcorn State
UNC-Wilmington 3:00 PM
Drexel
Coastal Carolina 3:00 PM
Gardner-Webb
Morgan State 3:00 PM
Howard
William & Mary 3:00 PM
James Madison
North Carolina 3:00 PM
Louisville
Coppin State 3:00 PM
MD-Eastern Shore
Ole Miss 3:00 PM
Missouri
Wichita State 3:00 PM
Northern Iowa
Loyola Marymount 3:00 PM
Pacific
Winthrop 3:00 PM
Radford
George Washington 3:00 PM
Rhode Island
Bryant 3:00 PM
Robert Morris
Long Island 3:00 PM
St Francis-NY
Fair-Dickinson 3:00 PM
St Francis-PA
Massachusetts 3:00 PM
Saint Louis
Georgia 3:00 PM
South Carolina
Central Conn St 3:00 PM
Wagner
SIU Edwardsville 3:15 PM
Eastern Ill
Ohio 3:30 PM
Central Mich
Eastern Ky 3:30 PM
Morehead State
Incarnate Word 3:30 PM
Nicholls
Campbell 3:30 PM
UNC-Asheville
Vanderbilt 3:30 PM
Texas A&M
South Alabama 4:00 PM
ULM
Western Carolina 4:00 PM
UNC Greensboro
Detroit 4:00 PM
Milwaukee
Idaho 4:05 PM
Eastern Wash
Marshall 4:30 PM
Louisiana Tech
Jackson State 4:30 PM
Miss Valley St
Houston Baptist 4:30 PM
Sam Houston St
Louisiana 4:30 PM
Texas State
Denver 4:30 PM
South Dakota St
Oral Roberts 4:30 PM
South Dakota
Texas 5:00 PM
Baylor
Citadel 5:00 PM
Chattanooga
Fresno State 5:00 PM
Colorado State
Yale 5:00 PM
Cornell
Ark-Pine Bluff 5:00 PM
Grambling St
Nebraska 5:00 PM
Minnesota
Hampton 5:00 PM
Norfolk State
Purdue 5:00 PM
Northwestern
Alabama A&M 5:00 PM
Prairie View
Dartmouth 5:00 PM
Princeton
Pepperdine 5:00 PM
St Marys-CA
NC A&T 5:00 PM
Savannah State
Delaware State 5:00 PM
SC State
Western Ky 5:00 PM
Southern Miss
Nevada 5:00 PM
Wyoming
Akron 6:00 PM
Bowling Green
Colgate 6:00 PM
Bucknell
FIU 6:00 PM
Charlotte
Brown 6:00 PM
Columbia
George Mason 6:00 PM
Duquesne
NC Central 6:00 PM
East Tenn St
Saint Peters 6:00 PM
Iona
Alabama 6:00 PM
Kentucky
Abilene Christian 6:00 PM
Lamar
Char Southern 6:00 PM
Liberty
Hawaii 6:00 PM
Long Beach State
New Orleans 6:00 PM
McNeese State
Lafayette 6:00 PM
Navy
Elon 6:00 PM
Northeastern
Fla Atlantic 6:00 PM
Old Dominion
Harvard 6:00 PM
Penn
La Salle 6:00 PM
St Bonaventure
Furman 6:00 PM
Samford
TX A&M-CC 6:00 PM
Stephen F Austin
Duke 6:00 PM
Virginia
Mercer 6:00 PM
Wofford
Northern Ky 6:00 PM
Fla Gulf Coast
USC Upstate 6:00 PM
North Florida
Longwood 6:00 PM
Presbyterian
Ark-Little Rock 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
SE Missouri St 7:00 PM
Austin Peay
CS-Northridge 7:00 PM
UC Riverside
Towson 7:00 PM
Hofstra
UT Martin 7:00 PM
Murray State
San Jose St 7:00 PM
New Mexico
Rice 7:00 PM
North Texas
Toledo 7:00 PM
Northern Ill
Oklahoma 7:00 PM
Oklahoma State
San Francisco 7:00 PM
San Diego
Utah State 7:00 PM
San Diego St
Northwestern St 7:00 PM
SE Louisiana
UCF 7:00 PM
SMU
Southern Ill 7:05 PM
Missouri State
Troy 7:15 PM
Texas-Arlington
Jacksonville St 7:30 PM
Tennessee St
Alabama State 7:30 PM
Texas Southern
Stanford 7:30 PM
Washington St
Santa Clara 8:00 PM
BYU
TX-Pan American 8:00 PM
New Mexico St
Northern Ariz 8:00 PM
Southern Utah
Middle Tennessee 8:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Weber State 8:00 PM
Northern Colorado
Chicago State 8:00 PM
Grand Canyon
UC Santa Barbara 9:00 PM
UC Irvine
Memphis 9:00 PM
Gonzaga
Air Force 9:00 PM
UNLV
Cal Poly 9:00 PM
UC Davis
Seattle 9:00 PM
CS-Bakersfield
Montana State 9:05 PM
Portland State
Montana 9:05 PM
Sacramento St
Colorado 9:30 PM
UCLA
UMKC 9:30 PM
Utah Valley U
Mount St Marys 64 FINAL
Sacred Heart 71
Texas-El Paso 53 FINAL
Middle Tennessee 74
Arkansas State 61 FINAL
Georgia State 47
Central Conn St 83 FINAL
Wagner 67
Fairleigh Dickinson 78 FINAL
St Francis-PA 60
Longwood 56 FINAL
Campbell 68
Charleston Southern 40 FINAL
Winthrop 77
Louisiana Tech 68 FINAL
Marshall 67
Western Mich 61 FINAL
Miami-Ohio 53
Bryant 72 2nd Half 2:20
Robert Morris 81
Long Island 45 2nd Half 2:30
St Francis-NY 58
Bethune-Cookman 61 2nd Half 1:54
Florida A&M 48
Ohio U 66 2nd Half 1:07
Central Michigan 59
Coppin State 28 2nd Half
MD-Eastern Shore 31
Incarnate Word 12 2nd Half
Nicholls 37
Samford 29 2nd Half
East Tenn St 21
Western Carolina 31 2nd Half
Furman 38
Gardner-Webb 35 2nd Half
Coastal Carolina 33
Liberty 24 1st Half 3:29
High Point 21
Presbyterian 23 2nd Half
UNC-Asheville 30
Kent State 27 1st Half 1:23
Akron 26
Northern Ill 34 2nd Half
Ball State 29
Houston 22 2nd Half
Cincinnati 32
SIU-Edwardsville 27 2nd Half
Eastern Illinois 16
Eastern Kentucky 33 2nd Half
Morehead St 29
Holy Cross 29 2nd Half
American Univ 22
Army 30 2nd Half
Loyola-Maryland 29
Niagara 26 2nd Half
Manhattan 23
Lehigh 35 1st Half 00:19
Boston U 38
Navy 36 2nd Half
Lafayette 26
Saint Josephs 33 2nd Half
Davidson 20
Duquesne 24 2nd Half
Fordham 19
George Washington 40 1st Half 2:58
George Mason 20
St Bonaventure 32 2nd Half
Massachusetts 24
Milwaukee 29 2nd Half
Youngstown St 51
Jacksonville 35 2nd Half
Kennesaw St 24
North Florida 21 2nd Half
USC Upstate 36
St Marys-CA 2:00 PM
Pepperdine
Nebraska Omaha 2:00 PM
IUPUI
Houston Baptist 2:00 PM
Sam Houston St
Mercer 2:00 PM
(25) Chattanooga
No Dakota State 2:00 PM
South Dakota St
Oral Roberts 2:00 PM
South Dakota
Southern Miss 2:00 PM
Western Ky
TX-San Antonio 2:00 PM
UAB
East Carolina 2:00 PM
Tulane
South Florida 2:00 PM
Memphis
Buffalo 2:00 PM
Eastern Michigan
New Mexico St 2:00 PM
TX-Pan American
Utah Valley U 2:00 PM
UMKC
Jackson State 2:00 PM
Miss Valley St
Louisiana 2:00 PM
Texas State
South Alabama 2:00 PM
ULM
Saint Louis 2:00 PM
Dayton
Cleveland State 2:00 PM
Oakland
Grand Canyon 2:05 PM
Chicago State
UCLA 2:30 PM
Oregon
Washington St 2:30 PM
(12) Stanford
Kansas State 3:00 PM
Texas Tech
UNLV 3:00 PM
Air Force
UCF 3:00 PM
Tulsa
UNC Greensboro 3:00 PM
Wofford
Delaware State 3:00 PM
SC State
San Diego State 3:00 PM
Utah State
Sacramento St 3:00 PM
Montana
Hampton 3:00 PM
Norfolk State
NC A&T 3:00 PM
Savannah State
Alabama A&M 3:00 PM
Prairie View
Toledo 3:00 PM
Bowling Green
Ark-Pine Bluff 3:00 PM
Grambling
Southern U 3:00 PM
Alcorn State
Marist 3:00 PM
Iona
Bucknell 3:00 PM
Colgate
North Dakota 3:00 PM
Idaho State
Ark-Little Rock 3:30 PM
Georgia Southern
BYU 4:00 PM
Santa Clara
Gonzaga 4:00 PM
Portland
Pacific 4:00 PM
Loyola Marymount
Abilene Christian 4:00 PM
Lamar
Colorado State 4:00 PM
Fresno State
New Mexico 4:00 PM
San Jose St
UC Davis 4:00 PM
UC Santa Barbara
San Diego 4:00 PM
San Francisco
New Orleans 4:00 PM
McNeese State
TX A&M-CC 4:00 PM
Stephen F Austin
Old Dominion 4:00 PM
Florida Atlantic
Tenn Tech 4:00 PM
Belmont
Eastern Washington 4:00 PM
Idaho
Stetson 4:00 PM
Lipscomb
Washington 4:30 PM
California
USC 4:30 PM
(7) Oregon State
IUPU-Ft Wayne 4:30 PM
Western Ill
Northwestern St 4:30 PM
SE Louisiana
SE Missouri St 4:30 PM
Austin Peay
Portland State 5:00 PM
Montana State
Columbia 5:00 PM
Brown
Northern Colorado 5:00 PM
Weber State
Charlotte 5:00 PM
FIU
(19) Princeton 5:00 PM
Dartmouth
Penn 5:00 PM
Harvard
UT Martin 5:00 PM
Murray State
Troy 5:00 PM
TX-Arlington
Morgan State 39 2nd Half
Howard 31
Alabama State 5:30 PM
Texas Southern
Jacksonville St 5:30 PM
Tennessee St
Wyoming 6:00 PM
Nevada
Oklahoma St 6:00 PM
Iowa State
CS-Bakersfield 6:00 PM
Seattle
La Salle 6:00 PM
VA Commonwealth
Cal-Irvine 6:00 PM
Cal Poly
Fla Gulf Coast 6:00 PM
Northern Ky
Southern Utah 7:00 PM
Northern Ariz
Green Bay 7:00 PM
Illinois-Chicago
Cal State Fullerton 9:00 PM
Long Beach St
CS-Northridge 9:00 PM
Hawaii
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How should Timberwolves fans greet Kevin Love on Saturday?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close