|"The prisoner running as the guards shoot at him, believes for a moment that he is free."|
As an athlete whose game has been shackled this season past, I have gently let it be known that I have a slight preference to not re-join the Portland Trail Blazers. While my discourse has been most civil and reasonable, this has led to the harshest recriminations…including a column from one journalist who advises I be left to rot! (This is an unlikely eventuality; as a sun-wizened Mallorcan, my flesh has the consistency of Iberian jerky.)
For any confusions regarding my status activations, I blame the English tongue! To wit, view this interchange between Coach Nate McMillan and myself.
Myself: With all due respectiveness, I would like to engage in more activities on the parquet.
Coach McMillan: I’ll do my best to give you more court time.
But in the endless convolutions of legal scholars and basketball coaches, THIS is what the coach actually meant:
“As a conveyance of our oral agreement, I will give you due consideration regarding the right, title and claim, for playing time including the attached privileges of dribbling, shooting, passing, and seeking steals from the opposition along with your entitlement's full power to turn the ball over to the opposition, suck, and ogle opposing cheerleaders all within the context of my existing offensive schematics which will rarely utilize the skills you feel you possess to the greatest advantage, the opinions of you and/or your agent to the contrary notwithstanding.”
Court cage by Jake Stangel,
fallen matador by REUTERS.
Portland, Oregon loves you. When you arrived we were excited to see you dominate the way we know you can. I think that your 1st year with the Trailblazers was great - your energy was refreshing and your style as exciting as anything we have seen in a long time. However, your 2nd year was different. From the crowd, I saw a different Rudy Fernandez. The 2nd year Rudy did not seem as interested in showing the Trailblazers what they grew to expect from the 1st year Rudy. Your enthusiam was different and when we needed your talent toward the end of the season, they were not available. Maybe because of coach style or maybe because you were not happy. I don't know. That does not excuse the fact that when we needed your talent - it was not available. Sometimes a man needs to stop blaming others and do what is right. You play for yourself, your play reflects you as a person... your 2nd year play in Portland was poor. Whether you stay in Espana or not... Use your talent all the time, not just when it is convenient for you but always remember that Portland loves you. No chant in the Rose Garden is as loud as, "Rudy, Rudy, Rudy"!
Your frustration is certainly understood. My only request is that you please do not forget how the people of Portland have treated you. I have been in the Rose Garden when the cheering explodes when you enter a game (even louder than the applause for Roy). I have heard your name chanted from every seat after one of your electric passes or dunks. Portland loves you Rudy, please don't forget that.ReplyDelete
Rudy, I was very happy to hear that you were drafted by Portland. I watched you in the 2008 Olympics as you almost single-handedly kept Spain even in the game against the US.ReplyDelete
You're a very talented player who was electrifying your first year in Portland. The second year however, you seemed hesitant and uncertain of yourself. My impression is that your back injury from being slammed into the basket support by a Laker late in your first season did a lot to your back and some to your confidence. I think that last season's problems were coming from that injury and you'll be back to your old self if you give Portland another chance.
Portland needs your shooting and passing abilities Rudy, you're an excellent player, you just need to get your confidence back so that we can all see the old Rudy on the court again!