NBA news: Kobe Bryant congratulates Ricky Rubio on winning FIBA World Cup MVP
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Kobe Bryant congratulates Ricky Rubio on winning FIBA World Cup MVP

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Kobe Bryant congratulated new Phoenix Suns point guard Ricky Rubio on winning the Most Valuable Player award during the FIBA World Cup after a convincing 20-point win over Argentina. The former NBA and Team USA legend sang the praise for the Spanish floor general, who has looked starkly different in international competition.

Rubio led Spain with 16.4 points and 6.0 assists through eight games of this tournament, displaying a poised and efficient game that paced the way for a veteran squad that averages 30 years of age for its members.

The Spanish were not convincing through the course of the group stage, with their own coach Sergio Scariolo noting there were better teams in the final four of the competition than them. Yet Rubio’s scoring picked up along with the stakes, scoring a steady 19.8 points per game through the last four game, becoming that steady scoring presence to navigate them through the latter stages of competition.

Rubio was overcome with emotion upon leading his home country to the title of world champion after a resounding 95-75 win over one of the hottest teams in competition in a resurfacing Argentina — quickly taking to Twitter to share his emotion with his fans.

The Suns will hope that Rubio carries on play from this tournament into the regular season, where they will need his help to climb out of the Western Conference cellar after years of disappointing results with stars in the making in Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton.