Veteran guard Ricky Rubio has officially brought an end to his 12-year NBA career, making the announcement after taking a break from the Cleveland Cavaliers to prioritize his mental health. The 33-year-old Spaniard revealed on social media that while his NBA journey concludes, he is actively working on his mental health and is grateful for the support he has received.
Rubio expressed the challenging nature of his decision, emphasizing that July 30 marked one of the toughest nights of his life. He thanked the Cleveland Cavaliers, particularly president of basketball operations Koby Altman and coach J.B. Bickerstaff, for their understanding and respect during his time with the team.
The Cavaliers have agreed to a contract buyout with Rubio, covering the remaining $6.1 million for this season and $6.4 million for 2024-25. This move not only provides financial relief for the Cavaliers but also opens up a roster spot.
Rubio’s NBA career saw him play for several teams, including the Minnesota Timberwolves, Utah Jazz, Phoenix Suns, and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Despite a challenging year, Rubio acknowledged Cleveland as his “last home” and praised the organization for its compassion and support.
Having missed significant playing time in the last two seasons due to a torn ACL, Rubio averaged 5.2 points and 3.5 assists per game in 33 appearances with the Cavaliers last season. Known for his impact both on and off the court, Rubio built a reputation as a favorite teammate among star players like Kevin Love and Donovan Mitchell.
Looking ahead, if Rubio decides to continue his professional career, it is likely to be in his native Spain, where he began playing as a 14-year-old prodigy. The Minnesota Timberwolves, where Rubio spent the first six years of his NBA career, expressed gratitude and congratulated him on his retirement.
While Rubio aims to keep the details of his mental health journey private for now, he expressed a desire to share his experiences in the future to support others facing similar situations.