Phoenix Suns point guard Ricky Rubio, as explained by Chuck Berry’s Run Rudolph Run

Ricky Rubio, Phoenix Suns (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Ricky Rubio, Phoenix Suns (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) /

Last year the Phoenix Suns had no point guard capable of pulling the team in the right direction. Now with Rubio leading the sleigh, that has changed.

When the Phoenix Suns signed Ricky Rubio this offseason, Chuck Berry likely wasn’t on James Jones‘ mind, but run with me on this:

Out of all the reindeer, you know you’re the mastermind

Run, run Rudolph, Randolph ain’t so far behind

Question: who’s Randolph? And why is he chasing my dude Rudi?

The last Randolph to play in the NBA is Zach Randolph. If Rubio is having a hard time out-running Zack “The Snack” Randolph, then we’ve got problems.

Judging by the reaction of the Suns faithful on July 8th—the day Rubio was first signed during the 2019 offseason—you’d have thought there was a problem.

“Too old and too slow,” people were saying.

“He can’t shoot,” they were saying.

Well, they’re all quiet now.

Rubio has turned out to be the on-court mastermind the Suns needed to get them off to this relative good start. He’s always been an elite passer, showing it this season by averaging over eight assists per game and constantly pushing the tempo.

He’s the engine out front pulling the sleigh.

Run, run Rudolph, Santa’s got to make it to town

Santa make him hurry, tell him he can take the freeway dawn

Run, run Rudolph ‘cause I’m reelin’ like a merry-go-round

Run, Rudolph, Run isn’t fastest most metal of Christmas songs. But Chuck Berry’s guitar always seems to be on the move, going forward with a purpose and never letting up, which makes it the only Christmas song to match the purpose and pace in which Rubio plays.

Ricky Rubio came into the league hailed as the next great point guard. A golden child of the oncoming golden age at the position. But like all great myths he had his one fatale flaw—shooting. He just wasn’t very good at it.

But this year he’s shooting a career best 34% from behind the arc, which is helping create the space needed for the 0.5 second ball movement coach Monty Williams preaches. He wants the ball whizzing like a Saber jet, and the steady shooting—really, just the willingness to shoot—has been a big factor not only in moving the ball, but in creating lanes for drive-and-kicks, or for him to take that scoop lay-up he loves so much.

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And then away went Rudolph a whizzing like a shooting star.