He was the one who brought me here in the NBA. —Ricky Rubio
SALT LAKE CITY — Sunday was a rough day for Ricky Rubio after being hit with some tragic news.
“I couldn’t believe when they called me yesterday,” Rubio recalled.
As bad as is was, the news was true.
The Utah Jazz point guard found out that his longtime friend and former agent Dan Fegan had died in a car crash near Aspen, Colorado. He was 56. He also represented other league stars such as DeMarcus Cousins and John Wall.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with his family during this difficult time,” the NBA announced.
All day, Rubio was in shock behind the death although his current agent is Jeff Schwartz. He still cherishes their life-changing memories.
“He was the one who brought me here in the NBA,” said Rubio, who was drafted fifth overall by Minnesota in 2009. “I remember having a meeting with him in Barcelona and he was so kind to me and my family and he was one of the best in the business.”
This isn’t the first time that Rubio has lost someone close to him. The 27-year-old also lost his mother Tona Vives unexpectedly to lung cancer in 2016 and his former Timberwolves coach Flip Saunders to cancer in 2015.
Experiencing those blows has pushed Rubio to become active in the community to push for a positive change. He was honored with the November NBA Cares Community Assist Award for being active in raising awareness for lung cancer.
No matter how many deaths you experience, though, it doesn’t make the process any easier. Although they no longer worked on a professional level, Rubio still held the same respect for Fegan as a man.
“He was always the smartest guy in the room, and I learned a lot from him,” said Rubio. “It’s going to be sad not having him around and even though he wasn’t my agent anymore, we kept in contact because he was a friend.”