Smiling is not a big part of the Russian culture.
Ricky Rubio and Ronny Turiaf are aware of that but want to change that for the backup point guard.
Last season, TNT’s wired microphone caught Ricky Rubio imploring Shved to “Change your face, be happy, enjoy it” coming out of a timeout in a video snippet that careened around the Internet.
Now Turiaf unknowingly has joined the chorus, encouraging the second-year Russian guard to play with more joy and less concern for his errors while coach Rick Adelman just wants Shved to become more “engaged” when he’s playing off the ball.
“If Alexey smiles, everything else takes care of itself,” Turiaf said. “If he doesn’t smile, he’s a different player.”
Winning just may be the formula to get Shved to smile.