Ricky Rubio Takes A Pause From Basketball To Prioritize Mental Health Amidst FIBA World Cup Preparations

Photo: Instagram/Ricky Rubio

Ricky Rubio, the esteemed guard of the Cleveland Cavaliers, has made a significant decision in relation to his mental well-being.

In an announcement on Saturday, Rubio revealed his intention to take a hiatus from basketball, redirecting his focus towards his mental health. This choice arrives just as his home country's national basketball team, Spain, prepares to defend its title at the upcoming FIBA World Cup, scheduled for later this month.

Having been the standout performer during the previous World Cup four years ago, Rubio's leadership led Spain to a triumphant championship victory, securing an impeccable 8-0 record throughout the tournament. Initially anticipated to play a crucial role in Spain's attempt to uphold their title, Rubio will now be absent from the World Cup set to commence on August 25 across the Philippines, Japan, and Indonesia.

Photo: Instagram/Ricky Rubio

In a statement distributed by the Spanish Basketball Federation (FEB), Rubio expressed his rationale behind this pivotal decision, stating, "I have decided to stop my professional activity to take care of my mental health." He conveyed his gratitude for the support extended by FEB in understanding his choice, emphasizing the significance of the basketball community as a family during such times.

Rubio's plea for privacy was also noted, as he requested time to navigate through his emotions and circumstances before sharing further information. Notably, he withdrew from the Spanish national team camp earlier in the week, absent during their recent exhibition victory over Venezuela.

Spain's national team is scheduled to engage in two matches in Malaga, Spain, the upcoming weekend, including a showdown with USA Basketball on August 13. This particular matchup carries added significance as USA Basketball currently ranks second in the FIBA world rankings, trailing the reigning World Cup champions.

As the oldest and most seasoned player in terms of NBA experience on the Cleveland Cavaliers roster, Rubio's basketball journey has spanned over 12 seasons, encompassing stints with the Minnesota Timberwolves, Utah Jazz, Phoenix Suns, and the Cavaliers. His recent seasons were marred by a significant injury, a torn left ACL, which led to his limited participation on the court.

In light of Rubio's decision, the Spanish federation conveyed their utmost respect, admiration, and support for him, reiterating their unwavering stance by his side throughout this challenging period. With a notable career averaging 10.8 points and 7.4 assists, Rubio's influence was particularly evident during Spain's triumphant 2019 World Cup final against Argentina, where he scored an impressive 20 points.

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Source: NBA

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