Ricky Rubio is retiring from the NBA after quitting for mental health reasons.
Rubio played 12 years in the league. The 33-year-old revealed the decision Thursday, hours after ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported a contract buyout with the Cavaliers.
He began his announcement by recalling July 30, one of his worst nights. Rubio would play for Spain, the defending champion, during the 2023 FIBA World Cup. After his "mind went to a dark place," he halted his profession the next day. Since his Aug. 5 mental health sabbatical, he hasn't played.
At 14, Rubio became the youngest player in Spanish ACB League history. He was drafted fifth overall by the Minnesota Timberwolves in 2009. After six years in Minnesota, he played for the Utah Jazz, Phoenix Suns, and Cavaliers.
He honored each club Thursday, honoring Cleveland for being "respectful and understanding" throughout his tough and last season.
Wojnarowski said the Cavaliers were ready for Rubio's comeback but instead decided to buy him out after realizing in recent weeks that he wouldn't play again. The buyout will net the team another position and money. The deal was $6.1 million this season and $6.4 million in 2024-25.
Rubio's torn ACL restricted him to 67 games the last two seasons. He signed a three-year, $18 million Cavaliers contract in summer 2022. In 33 Cavaliers games last season, he averaged 5.2 points and 3.5 assists. Rubio stabilized the club, especially in the playoffs.
Rubio retires averaging 10.8 points and 7.4 assists. Players like Kevin Love and Donovan Mitchell call him their favorite teammate.