caseyholdahl

Dec 03

Remembering Fernando Martin

By caseyholdahl Posted in: RudyFernandez

Today is December 3, and most people are probably thinking about the Civil War. Nothing wrong with that. But if you've got a second, take a minute to remember Fernando Martin, the first Spanish player in the NBA who died 20 years ago today. Martin, a 6-10 power forward, signed as a free agent with the Portland Trail Blazers on May 6, 1986, playing 24 games for Portland in 1986-87, recording 22 points, 28 rebounds, nine assists and seven steals in 146 minutes.

After one season with the Trail Blazers, he returned to Spain to play for Real Madrid, where he played from 1981-1986 and 1987-89. Martin made 86 appearances on the Spanish National Team, earning the silver medal in the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles.

Most contemporary Trail Blazers fans will probably remember Martin thanks to Rudy Fernandez, who wore a No. 10 jersey in honor of Martin at last year's dunk contest, the video of which is above. I would turn the volume off if you're going to watch that clip. It's a little disrespectful to Fernando and Rudy.

7 Comments

  1. This is a great post! I enjoyed watch Rudy dunk and him honoring Martin. Thank you!

    by BlazerJack on 12/3/2009 7:15 PM
  2. Ha. Well said. Just wrote this the other day in the forums:

    " Anyone who watched the Olympics gm game should know that we have the most dominant pure scorer on the Spanish team if not arguably their best player. ... here we sit with a guy who could do those dunks, hit the three, has mad clutch rating, and could start for nearly any team in the league (or at the very least be Jason Terry #2. (Heck - even the guys in the NBA front office knew enough to put him into the dunk contest in his rookie season, (and if they'd had enough of a brain to get a native spanish speaker to fill him in on how you compete in that contest by not doing your toughest dunk first with a player from your arch-rival team, he might not have had the announcers making racial slurs about european white guys.)"

    I really was offended by the commentators when I watched the dunk contest last year. Simply unacceptable.

    by Revfisk on 12/3/2009 7:53 PM
  3. disapointing the way that turned out. and so disrespectful of the people involved in the comentary. One thing rudy has is class that dunk to so long to make because its difficulty level is hard. I remember Howard raising the rim up to 12 feet i think it was and him dinking it. I was like R U kidding me for some one that 7 feet tall that does not impress me. I was more impressed that muggsy boegs and spud webb could dunk the ball. Rudy you honored your country and the blazers you deserve that win. Martin was vhearing from the clouds above for what you did for him. Thank you Rudy

    by Avgjoe28 on 12/3/2009 11:02 PM
  4. dont mind my spelling i know its bad i ment cheering

    by Avgjoe28 on 12/3/2009 11:05 PM
  5. Good post. It now shines a little bit more light as to why Ridy was rockin' that jersey in the Dunk Contest. It would have been nice if the guys on TNT would have noticed it and been knowledgeable on it, instead of joking, "Is that Ricky Martin?"

    by DHawes22 on 12/4/2009 1:55 PM
  6. Rudy*

    by DHawes22 on 12/4/2009 1:56 PM
  7. Fernando Martin is watching us from heaven and he is very happy by the way the spanish players in NBA are doing. im sure.he was the first one but not the last one. Spain is game..

    by moreanu on 12/8/2009 7:12 AM
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