BARCELONA (Olympics) - Team USA point guard Chris Paul spoke of his admiration for Spain counterpart Ricky Rubio following their gold-medal showdown at the Olympics and he’s still heaping praise on the teenager.
Paul has been playing in Europe with the New Orleans Hornets and ahead of Friday’s game in Barcelona against the Washington Wizards, he was asked about Rubio, who plays for nearby DKV Joventut Badalona.
"I am 23 and he is just 17,” Paul said.
“I know what I have had to go through in order to be where I am.
“Ricky has already played at the Olympics while I had to play two years of college ball (at Wake Forest) and three in the NBA before being able to take part in the Olympics.
“It is crazy what he has been able to achieve so far. What I do know is that soon he will try to go after my spot!”
Paul says the talented Rubio is extra special due to his physical characteristics.
“Ricky has very long arms and that makes him dangerous,” Paul said.
“I was the leader in steals in the NBA last season but I knew that against Ricky, I couldn´t do stupid things because he would come up with steals against me.
“The way he passes the ball is impressive. He isn’t selfish, always thinks about the team - just like me.”
Paul still has a warm feeling about his experience this summer with Team USA in China where they went undefeated and won the gold medal by beating Spain in the final.
“Perhaps the Olympic final was the most important game of my life,” he said. “To play against the Spanish team was a fantastic experience."