Your daily (Mon-Fri) roundup of links from around the blogosphere, typically Trail Blazers related.
• So you may have seen these rumors of Rudy Fernandez’s discontent. Alright, let us start this conversation out with some context. Marca is a very pro-Real Madrid paper and from what I have read of Spanish sports media over the years, a reoccurring theme has been that, in my opinion, Spanish journalists are prone to episodes of pot stirring that would make Steve A. Smith blush. This “National Enquirer-esque” story chasing lends itself to some sensationalist headlines. However, upon reading what the player actually said, the reader is usually treated to a bland, ordinary interview. Plus, factor in the language difference—hence the Victor Claver quote from earlier this week that was lost in the translation—and you get a journalistic experience that is less than reliable.
Players are typically pretty guarded when it comes to talking to the media, I don’t think that many will lower that shield just because a reporter or publication is from their home country. After all, in this era of globalized information and with Jason Filippi actually in Europe, I doubt Rudy would be so stupid as to make statements that he would not make to an American reporter.
Rudy tells Marca that this year has not gone as well as he’d have liked, and that he misses playing with his friend Sergio Rodriguez. Fernandez says that he feels that McMillan doesn’t trust him as much and that he has difficulty understanding McMillan’s philosophy. However, Rudy mentions that he needs to be more consistent and when he is asked about his progression as a player after being the “Star of the Cup” (I believe in reference to Copa del Rey), he says that he is “totally” satisfied and sort of brushes off another question about the Copa Del Rey, explaining “Now I begin to have experience, which ultimately is the most important for a player” (I interpreted this to mean NBA experience). As for the money quote, Rudy basically said (my translation) “At this moment and in this situation, I am discounting nothing. I only want to play and I don’t care where I do it.”
The above quote seems to be a lukewarm acknowledgement at best, sort of a “both teams played hard” style answer where Rudy is making his frustrations known but not leaning toward anything. This is not the first time that the Spanish media has stirred things up about Rudy going back to Europe and it won’t be the last. There was controversy of a similar sort a few times during his rookie year and from Rudy’s agent over the Hedo (non) signing. In other words, this whole story seems to be a bit of a non-issue drummed up by sensationalistic journalism pandering to a Spanish audience, some of which thought Rudy should start over Brandon Roy last season.
• So, there was a game last night, Casey Holdahl has video evidence to prove it.
• Dwight Jaynes says that there is no such thing as a bad win.
• Coup from Rip City Project had this to say in his recap:
Sure they “blew” another 20-point lead and allowed the Nets to be a threat late in the game, but when Marcus Camby leaves the game a couple minutes into the first quarter with an ankle injury, the Blazers were back to being a non-defensive team. Hence, they blow a lead, I don’t, and you shouldn’t, care. It has no bearing on the future.
• Sebastian Pruiti of TrueHoop Network sister blog Nets Are Scorching laments the Nets inability to put two good halves of basketball together.
The biggest problem for the Nets (and it has been a problem since Vince Carter left) is that they can’t close out games. This is because they don’t have a closer. They don’t have a guy you can just give the ball to and say “here, win the game please?” We’ve known this for a while, but I think it really was apparent last night because you saw what the Brandon Roy did for the Blazers. He put that team on his back, he played incredible in that final quarter.
There were times in the past where we would have probably turned away at the sign of an injury, or perhaps shown great shock and amazement on the broadcast. We would have let out groans, or sighed deeply and tried to explain how everything will be okay. So, forgive us when on Tuesday night it seemed rather routine to watch two more Blazers go down, both clutching their ankles. It was like, “okay, whatever… who has the ball now?”
• The Oregonian’s Jason Quick quotes Nate McMillan sharing much of Mike Barrett’s sentiment:
“Welcome to Portland, Camby,” coach Nate McMillan deadpanned. “It’s just amazing what our guys are going through … That’s part of being a Blazer this season.”
• So, there is a game tonight as well. Go read our preview below this post and revel in the joy that is Hedo Turkoglu not being a Blazer.
• For the Toronto perspective, check out TrueHoop Network sister blog Raptors Republic.
• Wendell Maxey has the lowdown on the Blazers’ 15th roster spot.