New York Times' Thamel on Rubio, Q&A with Ronzone, Kevin Love turns 22 today and more
From Jonah Ballow/Timberwolves site: Rubio's Flash and Maturity
Pete Thamel: Most of the prominent players on that Spanish team are five or six years older than him and he has been playing with him since he was 16 and 17 years old. The thing I took the most out of spending some time with him and around the Spanish team for a couple of days in Madrid a few weeks ago was that Ricky will blend in, that was one of his greatest qualities. I talked to guy named Elmer Bennett , who was his first mentor when he became a pro with Joventut, which is in Badalona – outside of Barcelona. Even as a 14 year old, he was able to blend in with his teammates. Elmer Bennett played point guard at Notre Dame in the late 80s – early 90s, joked with me that Ricky was young enough to be his son. His maturity was beyond his years and his ability to blend in and not draw attention to himself and just sort of be a shy, quiet, humble kid was one of the things that Elmer Bennett remarked to me on the phone and that was repeated by Marc Gasol, Rudy Fernandez, Spanish coaches, and people all around the team. I think when he does get here; it will be a different culture and a different environment than in Spain. I think that the blending in part he will do well at.
From Adrian Wojnarowski/Yahoo! Sports: U.S. shows look of potential champion
Angola offered little resistance in the 121-66 verdict, and Team USA delivered the kind of devastating blow to start the game it was unable to do in letting Tunisia linger in the final group-play performance. This was one of the games where Kevin Durant(notes) and Rudy Gay(notes) were so dangerous on the wings, finishing with flourishes over and over.
"Regardless of what people are saying, we still are the favorites and we should play and really act like it," Kevin Love(notes) said.
From Charley Walters/Pioneer Press: Kevin Love, who was 19 when the Timberwolves acquired him, turns 22 on Tuesday.
From Jerry Zgoda/Star Tribune: Q&A with Tony Ronzone
A I don't know if I've got any secrets. He's a pretty special player. It's great just being around these guys. It's good for the Timberwolves: We've got [European scout] Pete Philo working with the Chinese team. I'm here. David Kahn is coming over. [Strength/conditioning coach] Dave Vitel has been here working with Kevin. The Minnesota organization is well-represented over here.
Q Have you been able to see Ricky Rubio play much?
A I saw him play twice in Madrid, including a (exhibition) game we played against Spain. (Defensive) pressure does not affect him. He runs the team unselfishly. He's very humble and has a great passion for the game. Kevin got a chance to spend some time with Ricky after the game...
From Alex Raskin/Hoopsworld: Will Ricky Rubio be an NBA Star?
If Minnesota Timberwolves GM David Kahn has done anything, it’s showing that he at least believes in his young players, and I’m confident that because Super Cool Beas knows the organization has his back, he’ll do well. I have a hunch that one day sooner rather than later, Riley & Co. are going to regret sending Beas away so early, because history may also show that they were too hard on the young man just trying to figure out how to get comfortable with the new lifestyle. The Heat are as responsible for Beasley’s "disappointing" time in the League as he is.