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Ricky Rubio excused from training camp to continue focusing on mental health

The Cavs backup point guard is expectedly not joining the team for camp.

NBA: Cleveland Cavaliers at Charlotte Hornets Brian Westerholt-USA TODAY Sports

As the Cleveland Cavaliers open up the 2023-24 season with media day and training camp, the organization issued an update on one player who will not be with the team to start things off. Ricky Rubio, who announced previously that he would be stepping away from the NBA to care for his mental health, was officially excused from training camp per a team press release.

“We remain fully supportive of Ricky and his efforts, which for now are best continued away from the team and have excused his absence from camp,” the Cavaliers said in a news release. “We remain in regular communication and consultation with Ricky and will continue to assist him in any way possible.”

The 32-year-old Spaniard announced in early August that he would be stepping away from basketball entirely for the time being, including international play. Rubio, the 2019 FIBA World Cup MVP, was expected to join the Spanish national team in the Philippines to defend their title. Cavs President of Basketball Operations Koby Altman said the team is “hopeful” that Rubio will return this season and that the topic of retirement did not come up in conversation.

The Cavs will look to Caris LeVert and Ty Jerome to handle the backup ball-handler duties while Rubio rightfully prioritizes his mental health.