Rudy Fernandez to sign with Real Madrid
Former Portland Trail Blazers guard Rudy Fernandez will leave the NBA as he has struck a deal with the Real Madrid basketball club in Spain. Fernandez was traded by the Trail Blazers last summer to the Dallas Mavericks who in turn sent the Spaniard swingman to the Denver Nuggets.
While he appeared in 31 games for the Nuggets, Fernandez had to stop on account of his nagging back problem and opted to sit out the rest of the season.
Fernandez averaged 8.6 points, 2.1 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 1.0 steal and shot 44% from the floor while in Denver. Those in Portland remember an energetic rookie back in 2008 where he spent three seasons with Portland and averaged 10.4 points, 2.1 rebounds, 2.0 assists his rookie year, by far his best as a professional. He led the league in three-point shooting and set a NBA rookie record with 159 three-pointers and was named onto the NBA All-Rookie Second team. He appeared at the 2009 Slam Dunk Contest but lost in the first round.
Fernandez’s later relationship with Portland became frustrating when he desired to go back to his native Spain and didn’t enjoy the NBA life. His last two seasons with the Blazers were disappointments and the once fan favorite became a nagging problem. He was fined in his last season in Portland when he spoke out publicity about not wanting to be with the team along with “public statements detrimental to the NBA” according to ESPN.com.
Fernandez will still likely be on the roster for the Spanish men’s basketball team for the Olympic Games in London this summer. Spain got the silver medal in the 2008 Beijing Games after losing to the Americans.
photo courtesy of infobasketstore.com