Cleveland, OH – Cavs point guard Ricky Rubio has spoken out against his former coach Tom Thibodeau, who is now the head coach of the New York Knicks. Rubio expressed his disappointment in Thibodeau for not supporting him during his stint with the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Rubio’s statement on Thibodeau
Rubio commented in a recent interview, “Thibodeau didn’t have my back. He only cared about winning games, and didn’t take into account the well-being of his players.” He further added, “I was really struggling with the way he was using me at the end of my tenure in Minnesota. I was playing fewer minutes, I was coming off the bench, and it was really hard for me to get my rhythm back.”
Rubio’s Time in Minnesota
Rubio’s time with Thibodeau was marred with controversies, after being drafted 5th overall in the 2009 NBA draft, Rubio came to the U.S in 2011 and played with the Timberwolves for his first six seasons. Rubio’s steady career was cut short with Thibodeau taking over in the 2016-17 season, and he was eventually traded to the Utah Jazz in 2017.
Rubio’s future in Cleveland
Rubio was swapped with Taurean Prince during the off-season, joining his third team in three years when he signed a one-year deal with the Cleveland Cavaliers in November 2022. Playing for the Cavs, Rubio has put up averages of 6.8 points, 2.6 rebounds, and 5.0 assists in 21.0 minutes per game.
The Knicks’ response
The New York Knicks have not yet commented on Rubio’s statements. However, fans of the team have expressed their concern about Thibodeau’s coaching style and the need to develop players for the team’s long-term future.
Ricky Rubio’s comments on Thibodeau bring into light the role of coaches in developing players, and the importance of their support both on and off the court. With Rubio’s criticism, it’s a clear sign that players do have a voice in the NBA and coaches should take note of the individual circumstances of their players when making decisions about their role in the team.