Blogtable: Rubio or Irving?

Each week, we’ll ask our stable of scribes to weigh in on the three most important NBA topics of the day — and then give you a chance to step on the scale, too, in the comments below.

Right now, for your imaginary team: Rubio or Irving?

Steve Aschburner: Irving. My imaginary team, mind you, will continue to operate as long as my imagination remains intact, so over the long haul I might prefer Rubio as a point guard more likely to make teammates better. But since we’re talking “right now” I’m going with the Cavs’ rookie. Irving has been asked to carry more of a scoring load for Cleveland and he’s responded with 19.3 ppg and an effective FG% of 55.0. He’s not that far behind Rubio in assists percentage either (10th at 36.2 to the import’s 43.4). Defensively, I give the edge to Rubio but the Wolves guard’s shooting (42.8 eFG%) is sinking to the level of initial doubts.

Fran Blinebury: If it’s my imaginary team, I want to watch players players conjuring up new tricks and doing things that I can hardly imagine each time down the court.  That’s Elgin Baylor, Julius Erving, Pete Maravich and Michael Jordan.  From that tradition: Ricky Rubio.

Scott Howard-Cooper: Irving. And that’s coming from someone who felt all along that Rubio would do well in the NBA. Maybe not this well this soon, but a successful career. Irving, though, is running the point plus great speed plus leadership at a young age plus ball handling. Chris Paul comparisons from people in the league are not uncommon.

Shaun Powell: I will give the slightest of nods to Rubio only because he has a very rare gift: He can see the floor. A lot of what Irving does, I can get from other players on my imaginary team. Rubio will make my players happy and make them hustle, knowing the point guard will nourish them nightly with passes. And don’t forget the entertainment factor, too. People want to watch Rubio to see what he does next. You can’t find his type so easily.

John Schuhmann: It would depend on who their imaginary teammates are. If I’ve got other scorers and shooters on my team, I’ll take Rubio, who can get them the ball where and when they need it. But if my team is otherwise deficient offensively, I’ll take Irving, who can put points on the board by himself. What’s great is that they’re both pretty good fits on their current teams. Cleveland needed Irving’s scoring and Minnesota needed Rubio’s passing.

Sekou Smith: Rubio. And I’m going casting aside whatever numbers they are putting up as rookies and trying my best to peer into the future on two guys that will undoubtedly be leaders of the future at the position. Rubio is just a natural born playmaker. That’s always going to be more conducive to ultimate success in a league where everyone, and I mean everyone, wants to be on the receiving end passes from someone that distributes the ball the way Rubio does. Irving will probably always be a better scorer than Rubio could ever become. But he’ll never be as good a passer as Rubio was the day he walked into the league. He has jaw-dropping ability as a passer/facilitator. And if I’m picking a point guard for my team, I want the guy that has that transcendent quality to his game.


  1. Rantamplan says:

    For me is easy; if you’re not a good scorer you can practice and improve your shoot, but the game’s vision of Rubio is not learnable, you can only be Rubio to have it

  2. Badgers says:

    Going with Rubio all the way, Kyrie Irving is just like every other point guard in the league, Rubio brings a different approach to the game, will hopefully become a superstar in years to come.

  3. NBAfan says:

    I’m a big Rubio fun. He can ORCHESTRATE, but whether he can LEAD remains to be seen and only a good record can truly prove that…

    At this point, Irving and the CAVS are over-acheiving, while the WOLVES are under-achieving…granted Rubio started at the bench when the season began.

    I’ll take Rubio at this point, but it’s not a landslide and I reserve the right to change that opinion in a couple of years….

  4. RayAllen says:

    From Spain:
    ( I dont speak english very well). Curiosly Rubio didnt play like a superstar last season in Barcelona, everybody here said that Ricky isnt a great NBA player. Navarro won 2 europe MVP and when he went to Grizzlies only played a few minutes, and scores less than Barcelona he did. Im dont sleep never, because Minessotta plays fantastic since Ricky arrived.
    See you in London 2012 Finals, Get Luck!!

  5. killboard says:

    Im with the people who said that Rubio is one in a generation. But more important than his skillset is his mindset. Any person who can be a pro being 15 year old is amazing, even more if he is a sportman and a supertstar media (like he was in spain). Im not saying that Irving dont has it, im sayin Rubio has proved it. This mindset will make him get better on his shot or in every other aspect of the game he need, and finally a NBA supertstar,

  6. Jarrell says:

    I would rather have Ricky Rubio in my dream team…Kyrie Irving may be the 1st overall draft pick but Rubio is more dominant right now(ask the NBA fans). Rubio had an almost quadruple-double game in the U16 FIBA…He had 50plus points in the game against Russia and had a triple double and it only means that Rubio is still young for the NBA but as he grows old and become a veteran, he will be dominant just like what he did in FIBA…Rubio can become an MVP in the NBA, none of us can say that Rubio will not improve, anything can happen in the NBA.

  7. red says:

    Kyrie is just like jonny flynn……and the wolves took him off the picture……but look at ricky….he has it all……and besides….with the type of game they’re showing now………irving’s game is injury prone compared to rubio….and the BIG difirence between them is DEFENSE!!!! DEFENSE!!!!

  8. Hebo says:

    rubio fo sure!

  9. Pedro says:

    To the Rubios bandwagoners, just chill guys. Lets wait one or two more years to evaluate him. He doesnt even compare to stockton, nash or kidd at his current rookie status.

  10. TEN10 says:

    power forward:KEVIN DURANT
    shotingguard:KOBE BRYANT
    pointguard:: RUBIO
    THIS IS MY TEAM……………..

  11. Yannic says:

    Rubio is the man!plenty of Irving’s out there…

  12. manupesudo says:

    ricky rubio is gonna be LEGEN….. wait….. DARY!!

  13. NIgel67 says:

    A lo t of people insist on the difference of minutes played between one and the other, in favour of Irving or his advantage qhen shooting in terms of total points
    Looka at last night Rubio: nearly triple figures, and most important, he makes evryone so much better.
    Can you say that about Irving? errrrrrr, no

  14. aiketo says:

    Rubio Rubio and Rubio he just needs what nba is given him know. Confident

  15. cAVAl13r says:

    irving! just compare their minutes played

  16. hope bulls win all the way :) says:

    RICKY RUBIO!!!!!

  17. upel says:

    I know Rubio from Europe. he won’t be as good as Irving.
    Rubio can’t shoot, and you can’t teach that. Irving will be a star he fit well in his team and you can already see the change he made in Clevelend.
    belive me Irving will be the R of the year and a bigger star then Rubio by far.

    • red says:

      shooting?you cant teach that?com’on!!!??? when i started playing basketball im 1 out 10 on the line… i can even make all ten of them……you just need to practice on shooting dude…..thats a piece of cake man!

  18. Ridiculous Rubio says:


    You just hate the spanish because you can not beat them: football, handball (right now) or even basketball. I am so glad that Ricky will make you eat your own words.

  19. Spamtastic says:

    then lets vote RICKY RUBIO as rookie of the year 2011-2012 NBA season.. 😀

  20. Spamtastic says:

    ill pick RICKY RUBIO!!

  21. Shaaatttzzz says:

    No brainer…Rubio!!!

    EVEN in a team with depleted scorers, i will still take rubio…Thats the beauty of a natural born playmaker, he will make everybody a scorer, he will make everyone look good…

    Good example: what happened to Amare w/o nash nor felton??? what happened to kenyon martin w/o jason kidd???

  22. nigel67 says:


    Your comment is so mean and undocummented that it´s really hard to understand how they let you post it.
    I know a lot of Spaniards and they are probably some of the most hard working people i know, and besides they´ve got something you don´t have: originality.
    Please, dont taalk nonsense next time, especially coming from a country where doping was permitted for so many times, in Olympics, World Championships, etc

  23. Ronald says:

    Rubio, too… Hands down…

  24. otish says:

    tricky rubio… first, rubio is a winner, with 21 years old he is 3 times european champion, 4 times spanish champion, and silver medal in olympic games, how many awards has irving won??… second, rubio is a playmaker, if you put irving with kobe, lebron, love and howard, irving will do nothing, if you put rubio, they will be even more better players…. third, rubio is a great defender, and you not only win a game scoring, you must defend…

  25. boombooroomboomboom says:

    I would like to see rubio get nash and barea’s toughness..then that would be they key than he’ll be the best point guard in History..If he will get a teammate who’s a good finisher like amare or griffin then they could be a playoff team.. hopefully derick williams gets on track..

  26. 123germany says:

    i prefer the gameplay of rubio, i love playmakers on the pg. I absolutely dislike pgs like westbrook.
    But hesa spanish, no one on europe likes spanishs, they are just doped. So ill go for irving

  27. jake says:

    Rubio of course !!!!

  28. king thunDer says:

    slick rick all the way

  29. BenAkiba says:

    Rubio. Better defensevly and better as a Point Guard…he is the best playmaker in the world right now
    Irving is favorised just cuzz he has to score more in the Cavs cuzz they would fall apart if he hadn’t

  30. Nigel67 says:

    No doubt Rubio. There are and there have been so many Irvings around that If you want something fresh coming on the NBA, you should get the Spaniard.
    Irving is probably a better scorer but who needs that if you have the magic in everything you do and you just leave the scoring to the other guys?
    Rubio makes everyone stop talking and pay attention to what the kid does? And what he does is AWESOME.

    • red says:

      offensively…..these guys are pretty good….and what they are doing right now is what thier individual teams needs them to do…..the difference is DEFENSE! and ricky is the better D player……plus we’re talking about PG’s here so its ricky!

  31. joel says:

    rubio is the best point guard right now, it’s like a combination of jason kidd, steve nash, john stockton & magic johnson..

  32. Samuel says:

    Rubio – such a crowd puller, like Blake Griffin last season!

  33. LORDSLUG says:

    give ricky rubio a ROY he deserves on that!!… wolves now is exciting to watch…

  34. peeps says:

    I would rather have Rubio, he plays like Stockton or Steve Nash .. he makes everyone on the team better

  35. Justin Gil says:

    Pick Rubio if you are looking for a championship-caliber team, while Irving if you just want a showtime basketball.
    Rubio is like a steve nash-type of player, Irving’s like an allen iverson or stephon marbury type player.
    But both ricky and kyrie are very talented and promising players.

  36. jacobo says:

    rubio,porque lleva el juego de minessota a sus espaldas,irving unicamente es un gran anotador,como el ai mucho en la liga…como rubio muy pocos,es un chico especial…

  37. Alvin says:

    Hard to find PG’s nowadays who has the mentality of a “pointguard”….stockton kidd nash those were the 3 best for the last 20 years!!

  38. Canary Islander says:

    There are not debate about the Rookie award of the year. Rubio is the number one, the thwo and the three. He is special

  39. Kevzoreoticx says:

    Rubio is the best choice. He makes his teammates better. He’s the type of guy who doesn’t care about individual success. He is the kind of guy who wants to win. I won’t be surprised if this guy will be the next big star of this generation. He just need to improve his jumpshot.

  40. Walker says:

    Rubio. I have nerve seen one PG like ribio from pete.
    Perfect playmarker.

  41. Izual says:

    Ricky Rubio
    such a great playmaker!

  42. luke? says:

    a potential 25 15 player? pleease, he has’t got the athletic abilities like rondo,rose,wall and many other great scoring PG’s so the scoring part is out of the question, considered he improves his perimeter shooting he might end up with a stable 17/10 game.

  43. philippines says:

    rubio all day!

  44. allhype says:

    all hype! that’s all.. but for the sake of this conversation. i’ll wait next year or two then we talk. 🙂

  45. Atraccion says:

    Rubio could be the best PG of the NBA history if he stays 15 years in the league. He is 21 years old, he has the best skills ever, his handling and driving is monstrous, and he has enough time to develop his shooting technique. Rubio is a dinasty changer, a 25ppg-15asispg potential player.

    • ball86 says:

      ufff too much too soon men……rubio of course has an special skill, he could be a generational player…but the best pg ever……will see in 10 years….one step at the time,for now he needs to improve the jump shot and get a season with positive record….that’s it for now, more than enough

    • jan279 says:

      Rubio could be the best pg in the league in the future but best pg in NBA History and 25 ppg-15 apg? That’s just over the top, man! Improving his shooting is far from being enough to make him that dominant! Just think about it…not even Magic, Isiah, Stockton and all those other great pgs in the past were that dominant in any of the seasons they’ve played in! You think Rubio will ever be that dominant? Not a chance!

  46. starkylarky says:

    rubio. hands down.

  47. Basketballmostentertainingsport says:

    ricky too many irvings out there

  48. JAY says:


    • Jiro Francisco says:

      yeah. that is so true. we’ve seen a lot of Marburys in the past but less Kidds and Nashes. Besides Rubio binds the 5 guys on the floor.

  49. ronald says:


  50. Gregthomas says:

    i would pick rubio cuz his a real pg he knws the game very much knws his like jason kidd and stave nash on the process

  51. Bulls_23 says:

    None of em, there re so many talented players commin in every year, and how many really sticks for long time, remember evans and his 20-5-5, comparing him with M.J. and Big O, Wall and his rookie year aiming at Griffin. History tell us there re so many one season players and allways will be. Only after few season u can tell will he make it
    Example Rose and Durant (3 seasons to be what they re now, U can see their progres)

    • lakermig says:

      i agree but rubio has something that will last cause it doesnt come around much being able to bring up the level of your team mates..scoring pgs are kinda a dime a dozen right now but a true pg with the skill of a rubio there are only like 3 or 4 and the best by far are old (nash & kidd)

  52. J. Casa Nova says:

    Rubio… how many PG, scoring +15ppg, have won championships? especially in the last 20 years…

  53. otten says:

    Rubio, one of the best courvisions i’ve seen in a long time. makes all teammates better, controls the pace of the game at such a young age and so mature

  54. KEi says:

    Rubio, of couse. There are a lot Irving in the NBA but there’s no one like Rubio.

  55. Mark says:

    rubio because of the distributing ability & better defender. thats hard to get. but like john s said, depends on the teammates. if i dont have no scorers, id take irving.

  56. RipCity says:

    Lots of scoring PG’s in the NBA. Irving is a good player but he doesn’t really stand out to me or very different from a lot of PG’s I’ve seen over the past 10-15 years. I haven’t seen another PG like Rubio since J.Kidd. He’s a generational player

  57. Clemenza says:

    pete maravich 6’5
    ricky rubio 6’4

    if rubio can improve his shot mechanics and form, he will be a better player than maravich was. because rubio has something that maravich never had, and that is defense with the desire to win. maravich was just a showman and look at how great he was. irving is a perfect fit for a team like the cavs, he is a john starks type of guard, not a cp3 type of guard. he is a scorer and likes to keep control of the game. rubio trusts his team mates, which is the most important thing to look for in a point guard. irving doesnt trust his team mates and believes he should keep control of the ball and tempo. players like irving are great to bail out horrible rosters, but with a great roster like the twolves have, rubio is going to take that team to a top 4 seed by next season. look for darko to be consistant and for the front office to pick up a defensive player like kirilenko/tony allen/raja bell. this team looks promising, they have more upside than clippers or okc.

    • OKCKD35 says:

      more upside than OKC? you looked at the satandings lately? Only the best team in basketball right now. 3 years ago they were nothing, this year NBA champs!

  58. Jay says:

    There’s no discussion, Rubio, of course!!! How many Steve Nash, Jason Kidd or John Stockton did we have in all NBA history? And he is in his early 20s and is almost one feet taller than all of those before. When he’ll get better in his jump shot then we’ll see the real Rubio.

    • Sam says:

      are you saying that Jason Kidd, Steve Nash and John Stockton were all 5’4″ or that Rubio is 7 feet tall. Rubio is 6’4″ the other 3 are not shorter than 6 foot.

  59. allaroundballer says:

    well, irving, billups, rose, westbrook, evans, wall. people will always compare them. scoring pg
    now we see rose n westbrook on peak. while evans and wall lost their way.

    rubio? this guy is a maker, he’ll find a way

  60. aloysius says:

    Rubio. Need no explanation

  61. SYDALE says:

    I’ll take Irving… because what if one of your scorers gets injured or is having a horrible night? Irving can step in and take over a game with his scoring… And, if he has scorers, then you have to pick your poison…

    I don’t know why people think that because a PG scores a lot, it automatically means that he WANTS to score a lot… Irving, CP3, D-Will all can score, but are more than happy to just drop dimes on you and take shots when needed…

  62. jumpingpolarbear says:

    When Rubio works on his jumpshot he will be an allstar. Such a great player to have in your team.

  63. prix says:

    Rubio…he has a point guard mentality and that´s crucial for a team success…I don´t need a scoring point guard like Irving if I have MJ, Grant Hill, KG, and Shaq on their prime playing as my first five on my Dream Imaginary team.

    • bunbury says:

      If i have shaq, jordan, Lebron on my team, I’ll rather have Steve Kerr as my point guard.

    • NBAfan says:

      If we’re taking about being in their prime…

      C Howard/Shaq…depending on my mood
      PF Love
      SF Pippen
      SG Kobe/Jordan…depending on my mood
      PG Nash

      6th man Lebron/Magic (to sub for any of the positions above)

      Rubio can be the next Nash stats-wise, but with the flair and marketability that Magic had

  64. michele88mvp says:

    the difference is: everybody would love to play with Rubio, not everyone with Irving.