In the whirlwind of Monday’s trade for Chris Paul — which now seems like weeks ago, doesn’t it? — we lost a pair of the most enjoyable, engaging players this franchise has seen in years.
Ricky Rubio, fondly nicknamed Papa Ricky by the Jam Session boys after Ricky’s baby was born mid-season, brought the calm demeanor of a quiet but impactful leader who just spent every waking minute trying to do his best for everyone else on the court and the team as a whole, never making it about himself. The Suns led the league in assists and most advanced-stat passing categories in part from the offense installed by Monty Williams’ staff and in part because of Ricky himself. We will always cherish the 2019-20 resurgence of Suns basketball and Papa Ricky’s flowing hair will remain an iconic memory of that year.
Kelly Oubre Jr. was a lot more flashy, with his bouncy locks, aggressive slams, on-court pushups and crazy head-bobs, not to mention his slashing offensive game and clutch threes. Oubre got fans out of their seats and brought excitement back to the team for the first time in years. His Valley Boyz motto spread across town like wildfire, giving us all something to rally around.
Both players will remain warm in our hearts, and should always be wholeheartedly cheered whenever they return to Phoenix in whatever uniform they wear.
After subsequent trades from the rebuilding OKC Thunder, both players have landed quite softly in new digs for the 2020-21 season.
Kelly Oubre Jr. was just acquired by the Golden State Warriors yesterday within hours of learning Klay Thompson would miss the season on a torn achilles. Oubre will cost the Warriors a low first round pick or a pair of seconds, depending on how next year unfolds for them. Oubre now joins All-World Stephen Curry, All-Defense Draymond Green, former top overall pick Andrew Wiggins, former Suns Steve Kerr (GM till 2010) and possibly former Suns player Marquese Chriss (though with the drafting of Wiseman, not so sure about that), as well as a number of other former Suns staffers. Don’t cry for Kelly, folks. He good.
Ricky was re-routed to Minnesota where he began his NBA career and still remains a fan favorite. Minnesota gave OKC the 17th overall pick on Wednesday for Ricky and the 25th and 28th overall picks. He will try to lead All-NBA Karl-Anthony Towns, former eastern conference all-star De’Angelo Russell and this year’s top overall pick Anthony Edwards back into relevance in the West. Ricky’s good too, folks.
... thank you Phoenix. It was a fun year. You guys have something real good cooking. Gonna miss my dawgs. ValleyBoyz Thanks to everyone for the support thru the ups and downs. Undefeated in the bubble 8-0 pic.twitter.com/BY1OKBtamu— Ricky Rubio (@rickyrubio9) November 19, 2020
Cheer on Ricky and Kelly in their new unis next season when we you see them on TV — while also hoping both teams finish below the Suns in the standings!