Guard Ricky Rubio of the Cleveland Cavaliers declared during the summer that he would be taking a break from basketball to focus on his mental health.
He declared his retirement from the NBA on Thursday, having played for 12 seasons.
In an open message to supporters on social media, Rubio—who also enjoyed a successful international career playing for his home country of Spain—announced his decision and stated that he is still “working” on his mental health.
“I wanted to post this message for you today because my NBA career has come to an end,” the letter to X said on its posting.
“It all started [in] June 2009, draft night in New York. What a dream. After playing 12 years in the league, with all its ups and downs, I have collected lots of good memories and great relationships. Minnesota, Utah, Phoenix and Cleveland. Wow. Thank you!”
Rubio, who competed for Spain and earned a gold medal at the 2019 World Cup, left the sport in August due to mental health issues.
In a statement at the time, he stated, “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 (Spanish Basketball Federation) to understand my decision. Today #LaFamilia makes more sense than ever. Thank you.”
General manager of the Cavaliers Koby Altman issued a statement at the time endorsing Rubio’s choice.
Although Rubio did not provide any details in his letter on Thursday, he made it clear that he is currently working on his mental health following a period when his “mind went to a dark place.”
“One day, when the time is right, I would love to share my full experience with you all so I can help support others going through similar situations. Until then, I would like to keep it private out of respect for my family and myself, as I’m still working on my mental health. But I’m proud to say I’m doing much better and getting better everyday.”
Before moving to Utah, Rubio played seven seasons with the Minnesota Timberwolves after being selected in the first round by the franchise in 2009. Due to a ruptured left ACL, he missed most of the previous two seasons. At the end of the previous season, he made a 33-game comeback to the Cavaliers, mostly as a reserve.
“Special mention to Cleveland. My last home. I know the way things ended have been tough. I could never have imagined the year would develop this way, but you have an amazing organization, with Koby and JB, who have been extremely respectful and understanding of my situation and caring for me as a person. Thank you all for the love and support!”
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