Ricky Rubio finally appeared on video at Suns practice earlier this week, and told the media on Wednesday that his delayed arrival in Orlando was a result of testing positive for COVID-19 and having to quarantine at home for a couple extra weeks.
Shortly before the team departed (Rubio would not give a specific date), the point guard contracted the virus and did not travel with his teammates. Rubio said he quarantined in Phoenix at his house while his wife and his infant son, Liam, remained in Spain.
Because of his sickness and the broader social issues facing our country, Rubio admitted “basketball is not the first thing we’re thinking about in terms of life right now.” Taking the tune of his coach, Rubio pledged to be ready to compete in the NBA Bubble but also drew attention to the work left to be done in communities across America.
“It’s very important for us to speak up,” Rubio said. “Sometimes it’s better to be quiet when you don’t have (all the) information, but the NBA has given us enough information to really talk about it and talk about what you think.”
Rubio said he would put “Justice” on the back of his jersey in a nod to the ongoing case to bring justice to the Louisville police officers who killed Breonna Taylor.
In the short-term, neither Williams or Rubio would say one way or another if he would play in the Suns’ first scrimmage tomorrow.
“I don’t want to overdo it, but I also don’t want to under-do it,” Williams said of ramping his players back up into game shape in Orlando.
In his first few days of practice, Rubio said he was “rusty” and getting back into game shape would take “a while.” That’s just because of how long it’s been since he played. As it pertains to his recovery from COVID-19, Rubio conferred with his own trainers in Spain to develop a plan for getting back on the court.
“I (had) my symptoms, but now that I’m back playing, your legs feel it, your lungs feel it,” Rubio said, “so it’s just something that I’ve gotta work on. I’ve gotta figure out a way to really give my best to the team, but at the same time, really focus on my health.”
Rubio continuously called the circumstances around the pandemic and the Bubble strange, admitting it’s difficult getting used to the Wide World of Sports complex. Still, he remained steadfast in his desire to get to work, noting (as Aron Baynes did in a separate interview Wednesday) is just as much about the future as the present.
The stats speak for themselves, but Williams reiterated how much Rubio makes the Suns better as a team and how valuable his presence is in Orlando. It’s unclear how much Rubio can contribute right now, but the Suns have a week to get him acclimated and move forward within the confines of a strange new reality.