|Kobe Bryant and Ricky Rubio will go head-to-head in London. (Getty Images)|
There's been a lot of media fuss over how well Spanish point guard Ricky Rubio's game has been a better fit in the NBA than in Europe. His swag is officially NBA-ready too.
HoopsHype.com transcribed a Marca.com video in which the Minnesota Timberwolves' rookie sensation dished out a little trash talk to Los Angeles Lakers All-Star point guard following a Sunday night game between the two teams. Rubio, who first became a household name internationally during the 2008 Olympics playing for the Spanish national team, told Bryant that Team USA won't be winning the Gold Medal at the 2012 London Olympics.
Kobe Bryant to Ricky Rubio and Pau Gasol: "You talking about London?"Bryant was recently named one of 20 finalists for Team USA and is considered a likely starter on a team that will look to repeat its 2008 Gold Medal performance. Gasol and Rubio are both expected to be major players for Spain, widely regarded as the United States' only serious competition for 2012 Gold.
Gasol: "Oh yeah."
Rubio:"You're gonna be there?"
Rubio: "You know you're getting the silver medal. You know that."
Bryant: "[expletive]. I'm taking bets! [laughs] If I win I get the keys of Barcelona."
Rubio: "I bet what you want."
Bryant: "I take it!"
USA beat Spain in the 2008 Gold Medal game, 118-107. Bryant had 20 points in the final. Gasol finished with 21 while Rubio had 6 points and 3 assists off the bench.
Bigger, stronger and more experienced competitors have wilted from Bryant's trash talk over the years, so the fact that Rubio stands toe-to-toe in this tete a tete is further proof of his arrival and immediate acclimation to the NBA. Given his fearless play in 2008, it's also not all that surprising. London can't come soon enough.