Phoenix Suns: Ex-Sun Ricky Rubio Jokes About Influence on Devin Booker

Phoenix Suns, Devin Booker, Ricky Rubio (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Phoenix Suns, Devin Booker, Ricky Rubio (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

Chris Paul trotted into The Valley one day, and everything seemed to change after that. But long before the Phoenix Suns started worshiping the “Point God,” they ran with Ricky Rubio at the point guard spot, who brought his own flare to the team.

During the pivotal 2019 NBA offseason, Rubio inked a three-year deal with the Suns following stints with the Minnesota Timberwolves and Utah Jazz. His arrival in Phoenix led to an outstanding sigh of relief both from the fans, and a still talented, but at the time incredibly bewildered Devin Booker.

Up until that point, Booker never played with a facilitating point guard, grieving through multiple years with Eric Bledsoe by his side. But Rubio joined Phoenix to take some much needed pressure off his shoulders being a well-renowned creator.

Averaging 8.8 assists per game with the Suns during the 2019-20 season, Rubio came exactly as advertised. His presence helped Booker out substantially, as he put up career-high point per game averages and field goal percentage marks. Rubio and Booker also led the way during Phoenix’s famous “bubble run,” which sparked the franchise’s turnaround and engrained “winning basketball” into the team’s culture.

But as well as Rubio played while wearing the purple and orange, the Suns still traded him away for CP3 two summers ago, bidding him an undeserved, but understanding farewell in favor of a clear upgrade.

Today, Rubio finds himself playing for the Cleveland Cavaliers, who are slated to play the Suns this coming Saturday at Footprint Arena. But when speaking a few weeks ago about his influence on Booker, as well as another former teammate in Donovan Mitchell, Rubio jokingly took all the credit for each player’s ascension to All-Star level, saying that they “wouldn’t be All-Stars without [him].”

Once putting his humour aside though, Rubio called himself “really lucky” to play with both Mitchell and Booker. He also called them “really special,” and noted his undying emphasis on helping improve the play of those around him.

Rubio played against Phoenix last year, and even came through with 21 points, 10 assists, and five rebounds during one mid-March contest. However, his game against the Suns this week represents a more accurate “homecoming” for him, with way more fans set to attend the contest.

But even though Rubio does not stand solely responsible for Booker’s rise to stardom, he deserves an ovation from the Phoenix faithful, having granted them several extraordinary moments during his tenure with the team. Frequently drawing fouls, throwing up crafty finishes, and tossing the rock around like an artist, Rubio delivered highlight plays every time he took the floor.

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He indeed helped Booker out to some degree, but he primarily stepped up, and played to win for the Suns before it became common practice. That warrants some applause, especially once considering all which this franchise has been through over the past ten years.