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NY Post
New York Post
5 Aug 2023

NextImg:Ricky Rubio pauses career to work on mental health as Spain preps for World Cup

Ricky Rubio is hitting the pause button on his basketball career just as he was getting ready to lead defending champion Spain at the World Cup.

The Cavaliers point guard and defending World Cup MVP announced the decision Saturday, citing the desire to focus on his mental health.

“I have decided to stop my professional activity to take care of my mental health. I want to thank all the support I have received from the [Spanish national team] to understand my decision,” Rubio said in a statement. “Today #family makes more sense than ever. Thank you. I would ask that my privacy be respected so that I can face these moments and be able to give more information when the time is right.”

Ricky Rubio is putting his career on hold to work on his mental health.
Getty Images

Rubio, 32, left the Spanish team’s training camp in Madrid earlier this week.

He also didn’t play against Venezuela in Spain’s first warmup game Friday night, as the team prepares to try to win a second straight World Cup in the Philippines later his month.

Rubio, who was drafted No. 5 overall by the Timberwolves in 2009, has struggled the stay on the court the past two seasons because of a torn ACL – playing just a combined 67 games.

In 33 games last season in his return from the injury, he averaged 5.2 points and 3.5 assists for Cleveland while shooting 34.2 percent and averaging 17.2 minutes.

Ricky Rubio goes up for a layup against the Knicks in the playoffs.
Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post

The Cavaliers lost in the first round of the playoffs to the Knicks.

Spain, which is also without guard Lorenzo Brown due to injury, is ranked the No. 1 in the world – moving ahead of the United States after winning the European championship last summer. 

If they hope to stay there, it appears the team will have to do so with its biggest star.