Earlier this summer, when it seemed like half of the NBA’s players were being traded or signed to different teams, Rudy Fernandez (and his people) had no problem being up-front and bold about how unhappy he was in Portland and how much he wanted out.
Now, with training camp right around the corner and every Rudy trade rumor having fallen apart, the third-year swingman has changed his tune since it looks like the Blazers will have to keep him and Starbury him if he becomes too much of a distraction.
In a translated interview with a Spanish newspaper, Fernandez said, “I think if Portland keeps my rights, that means they believe in me. I’m excited to begin the season with them and prove that I have my place on the team and play minutes. The most important thing is to grow as a player and as a person. I’m an NBA player and there’s not many people who can say that.”
Nevermind that he’s backpedaling faster than Antonio “Pops” Cromartie — if Rudy really does get his act together and play like a pro, the Blazers could use his talents. The team often operates at a slower pace, to which Rudy offers a nice change with his athleticism and above-the-rim style. He’s also a solid outside shooter and unafraid to come into a game off the bench ready to jack up shots. On nights when the Blazers offense is struggling, Rudy is a potential spark plug.