A Phone Call from Sacramento

Sergio: ¡Hola, Rudy!

Me: ¡El Chacho! ¿Que pasa, mi amigo?

Sergio: I merely wished to check in with you. Long time, no alley oop!

Me: ¡Naturalamente! So this has nothing to do with your match last evening?

Sergio: I don’t know which match you mean—

Me: The one in which you had 24 points, five assists, and two steals in 24 minutes?

Sergio: Ah, THAT match. Yes, fortune indeed smiled upon me. But you forgot something.

Me: Nonsense!

Sergio: No turnovers! Further, at this juncture, only Chris Paul and Steve Nash outstrip me as the NBA's top point guards!

Me: ¡Felicidades! Ah, but wait… I smell something…

Sergio: Are you cooking pollo?

Me: No. But I detect the odor of a most unsavory gloating wafting up from south of Portland!

Sergio: Ha ha! But there is no need to be churlish, Machetero! Now let me tell you about a particular alley oop. At one point, I took a knee at the three-point line and threw a behind-the-back pass to the rim—

Me: Please! Speak no further of making spectacular passes at your mates, for I am consumed with envy! Last year, 103% of my alley oops emanated from your able Canary Islander fingertips. And this year, I am below the poverty line for alley oops-ing.

Sergio: Forgive my insensitivities! It must be difficult to be paired with mates who are not as sympatico to your needs as a fellow countryman. And so, onwards to happier topics! Let me tell you more about the charming pavilion in which our matches transpire. It is called Arco Arena and…[end transcript]

Sergio foto from Sactown Royalty.


Things I Would Do in Lieu of Losing Two Matches in a Row by an Unseemly Margin

1.) Quaff lye.

2.) Don Steve Blake’s apparel for a fortnight.

3.) Pose with Ricky Rubio on his eponymous website.

I am no expert at losing! But observing my mates, I conclude that the figure of Loss guts ALL the varieties of fish that come to his net. He counts among his prey both rookies and graybeards, both the diminutive antipodean (Patty Mills) and the indigent Goliath (Greg Oden).

He is not queasy-stomached; Loss swallows without chewing, cramming unspectacular guard play and weak-chinned defense into his ungracious maw. Loss thirsts after our victories, and drinks them down like mother’s milk.

In short, Loss is most horrible!

Enmienda: I must amend a previous statement. I would rather encounter Loss than appear as a model on Ricky's website. Such a photo-shoot would represent a fashion Loss even more grievous than the indignities we have suffered on the parquet. (The mascara, mi Dios, the mascara!)


Errores Artística

Did you know? I enjoy painting! My palette is usually derived from an unusual list of ingredients which includes dyes wrung from espresso grounds, opponents’ tears, turnip greens, axle grease, the leaves of the Oregon grape, boiled jimson weed, burnt matchsticks, crushed spirits, pine sap, and the sodden red crepe paper streamers that are left over after home victories.

And when these hues fail me, I just use the leftover house paints that I found abandoned in Sergio Rodruguez’s garage.

But during our recent match against the Chicago Bulls, I committed an unusual artistic mistake. Seeing the opportunity for a most dastardly assist, I whipped the ball in an unexpected way towards the basket.

But it was then that Luol Deng’s visage intervened! A facial ricochet! The ball bounced off Deng’s features with a fearful thudding! Everyone in the pavilion quailed or cheered, depending on their dispositions as Deng took on a reddened, swollen aspect. It was not a hue I meant to choose, but ¿qué podía decirle?

Rudy foto from rudy5.net, tweet from Pdxtrailblazers.


A Note to Corey Brewer

For the final time: I do not have any spare coinage (euros or otherwise) upon my person.


The Mantle That Covers Human Thought

As is known, Andre Miller is an active streaker. But as his streak is not dermatological, it is unapparent to even the most astute observer. That is to say, he has played in over 540 straight NBA games without failing.

What is his secret? As the point guard is a taciturn fellow, his few words on any matter are magnified in meaning. (Inversely, this explains why my mates cheerfully ignore Martell Webster’s monologues.)

Spying Andre being interviewed on his capabilities, I had two hopes. One was to hear how he does it. The other was to hear Andre intone “I am Iron Man” in a deep, robotic voice.

Sneaking closer, I dropped from the eaves to listen in… only to find that Andre attributes his successes to multiple naps! As a Spaniard, you can imagine my pleasures at this. I come from a culture that was founded on naps and built from dreams!

Thus enthused, I interrupted the interviews proceedings.

“Blessings on him who invented sleep, the mantle that covers all human thoughts, the common currency that buys all things, the balance and weight that equalises the point guard and the power forward, the simpleton and the sage,” I recited.

The Iron Man and the reporter looked at me without expression.

After a moment, Andre turned to the journalist and said, “Plus I don’t eat barbeque.”

Miller foto from the AP, Rudy from origen desconocido.


A Catch-and-Shoot-22

I am a child of the mean sands of Palma de Mallorca.

I point out this obviousness for a reason. It seems that even now, opponents and journalists are sometimes unaware that my lanky frame belies a coiled steel within! This steel was forged years ago in the languid heats of my home island.

Because Palma de Mallorca is Europe’s playground destination, its grittiness, like mine, is also frequently misunderestimated. But rest assured, mi amigo, semi-hardened criminals have been known to lurk in the few locations on the island that are not kissed by the sun.

Per ejemplo, as a teenager, my mates and I once returned to my home from a mid-day outing at the beach only to find a thief going through my family’s belongings. Given our numbers, the rascal had no chance of making the escape! Judging from his shamed countenance and excellent clothing choices, I decided to give him a choice: the police or a three-point shooting contest with me.

To my infinite delight, the thief chose the latter. So we escorted him to the local parquet, and minutes later, his wails could be heard throughout the community.

Police! I want the police!
Rudy foto from the Oregonian.


A Farewell to Legs

On the Blazers, five of my mates begin each match. Then, as time passes, these players are replaced by the so-called “bench-mates.” And I count myself proudly among them. We bench-mates are here to provide sparks off the bench. How is this accomplished? With static-generating shorts! As we leap into action, sparks fly and fans swoon.

But sadly, in our recent Charlotte match, two of my bench-mates fell victim to the injury. Travis Outlaw suffered a broken foot bone while busting a routine move. And in a manner most bizarre, Jerryd Bayless tripped over a hump in a hallway carpet and nearly killed himself!

His bellows of pain filled the coliseum, and I had to assist him to assistance. This was no easy matter; Jerryd is a most dense 200 pounds (195 without his cologne). How to explain such a sad conjunction of misfortunes in Charlotte?

It was almost as if Travis and Jerryd were being manipulated by some barely-glimpsed and malevolent puppeteer. Ah, but surely such a notion is ludicrous!

Top Bayless foto from Blaze of Love, Larry Brown from the SI Vault.



In our recent match, I thought I hit the jackpocket. Not only did the fearful Ukrainian Oleksiy Pecherov barely take part in the game, but I filled my in-boxes with 15 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, 4 turnovers, and 3 thefts of the basketball from the opposition. (I lead all bench players in the latter category.)

And even so, I feel as though I have been knocked senseless and left out to dry! I refer not to my minutes but to the misdeed perpetuated at the blog site known as Ladies… Its “Hump Day Hotties” posting was dedicated to the Portland Trail Blazers. Who would reign supreme as el hombre más caliente? It is a surprise! While beefcake-on-a-fashion plate subjects like Jerryd Bayless and myself are alluded to, the focus of Hump Day Hottieness is…

Steve Blake?

Like Zach Randolph suddenly jabbing his thumb in my cornea, I did not see that coming! Yet though I am slighted, I offer Ladies… the instructive words of Miguel de Cervantes in the best spirit:

A private sin is not so prejudicial in this world, as a public indecency.”
Rudy foto from BlazersEdge.


Horror on the Parquet

It is no secret matter that there is talk of trash on the NBA courts. Yet our recent game against the Minnesota Timberwolves yielded a diabolical new spin on this hoary strategy. As I entered the match, I could see the lanky forward Oleksiy Pecherov up close for the first time. And such a sight! His skin was pale, his eyes red-rimmed, his manner feral. During a break in the action, I was surprised to find the lengthy Ukrainian speaking to me in fluent (if heavily accented) Spanish.

“You radiate exuberance!” he said. Taken aback, I could only stare at Pecherov. His pallor was most alarming! “I say this in a complimentary sense,” he continued. “No doubt the blood flowing in your veins is devilishly exuberant!”

For a horrible moment, Pecherov sniffed the air like some unholy and hairless hound. “As I thought. Your blood smells like the sweetest perfume,” he concluded with a dark whisper, then darting off to snare an in-bounds pass.

Shaken by the exchange, I added three turnovers to my otherwise respectable estadísticas. And despite our victory, all I could think of in the locker chamber after the match were Pecherov’s burning eyes.

“Spaniard!” Greg Oden intoned, gesturing to me. “I have three words to speak to you.” He drew me in closer yet, looked over my shoulder, and said quietly, “Beware the upior.”

And with that, Greg reached out a massive ebon hand to deposit in my palm a bottle of pills… containing garlic extract.
Top foto from BlazersEdge.


Iberian Marmots and Football Vixens Pave Paths to Victory

Did you know? The kingdom of animals can yield helpful sports perspectives! Per ejemplo, when the Iberian marmot finds itself backed into a corner, it does not concern itself with niceties. Nor is the fear of a non-unsportsmanlike technical on its mind. Rather, the fearsome rodent is prepared to lash out in any fashion that will ensure its survival!

With our current losing record, my mates and I can take inspirations from the marmot. And in the games ahead, we should attempt to apply what Joel Pryzbilla describes as "an old-fashioned butt cooking." (Ah, these zesty American idioms!)

Perhaps we may also take a page from this impressive football player de Nuevo México. She does not intend to be vanquished without a struggle... and may the rules be exiled to perdition!

Foto from PortAventura.


Going Out for Groserías

“The forbidden words boil up in us…When they finally burst out, they do so harshly, brutally, in the form of a shout, a challenge, an offense. They are projectiles or knives. They cause wounds.” Octavio Paz, The Labyrinth of Solitude
Spaniards and Mexicans share many traits. Both groupings are known for their gracious manners… and sulphurous oaths! In Mexico, the cursing words are called “groserías.” They range from imprecations of mildness (güey = stupid) to affectionately salty (cabrones = bastards), to the most harsh wacknesses (pinche ladrón = damned criminal).

My mates and I directed many of these wounding groserías at the Atlanta Hawks (and between ourselves!) in a frustrating defeat last evening. In fact, assuming that there are a finite number of groserías in the universe, their number is now vastly diminished.

Yet the Hawks seemed oblivious to our epithets, and ran the score up unchecked. How is it that our oaths missed their marks as frequently as my three-point attempts? Do we need to shop for new groserías? (Oh, my back.)

The answer, for now, remains hidden beneath ZaZa Pachulia’s enigmatic teflon-chic.

Rudy foto from the Oregonian.


Semi-True Confessions

To win last night in Oklahoma City was good, as it evened our record at 2-2. But why is the soil of our start so rocky? Matchups may be partially blamed. For instance, have you ever seen Steve Blake’s sock and sweater combinations? They are enough to put an Estonian off his lunch.

And now to my confession: Even with our inauspicious beginning, I do not mind a defeat as much as my mates. The reason why stems from my childhood:

The old fisherman gathering his nets in from the lapping waters of the Mediterranean turned to me. His resemblance to George Karl was uncanny! And when he spoke, there on the shores of Palma de Mallorca, his words were of a resounding nature. “The most exciting thing in life is winning a knife fight. But the next most exciting thing is losing a knife fight.”

I trust this explains my view adequately!
Rudy foto from the Oregonian,
Karl from Ball Don't Lie.