Ricky Rubio will not play in World Cup, pauses career ‘to take care of my mental health’

Cleveland Cavaliers v Atlanta Hawks

Cleveland Cavaliers v Atlanta Hawks

Ricky Rubio, the 12-year NBA veteran who has evolved into a respected voice and locker room leader around the league, will not play for Spain this summer at the World Cup and is taking an indefinite leave from his career to deal with mental health issues.

Rubio released this statement through the Spanish basketball federation.

“I have decided to stop my professional activity to take care of my mental health. I want to thank all the support I have received from the FEB to understand my decision. Today #LaFamilia makes more sense than ever. Thank you. I would ask that my privacy be respected so that I can face these moments and be able to give more information when the time is right.”

Rubio has left the Spanish national team, which is playing tuneup games in preparation for the World Cup.

Coming off a torn ACL, Rubio played in 33 games as a reserve point guard for the Cavaliers last season, averaging 5.2 points and 3.5 assists in 17.2 minutes a game. Rubio, 32, is projected as a backup point guard behind Darius Garland for the Cavaliers this season.

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