Blog Entry

Fernandez fined $25k for comments

Posted on: August 19, 2010 7:11 pm
Blazers forward fined $25,000 for comments by agent about wanting out of Portland.
Posted by Matt Moore

The path out of a guaranteed contract in the NBA is a messy, and often expensive, affair. Rudy Fernandez is getting a head-start on what that kind of divorce looks like.

The NBA today fined Fernandez $25,000 for "public statements detrimental to the NBA" according to an NBA release. It's assumed that Fernandez was fined for comments made by his agent regarding a desire to end his time in the NBA and return to Europe. Fernandez' agent spoke with both Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports and about Fernandez' desire for a split with the Blazers. Via HoopsHype:

“The impression I’m getting more and more is that he’s lost interest in playing in the NBA, quite frankly,” Miller said. “It’s my impression that Rudy would prefer to be in Europe rather than the NBA at this point.”

The fine is a pretty standard reaction from the league, which automatically fines a player that makes a public trade or release request. Granted the multiple reports which have indicated both Carmelo Anthoney and Chris Paul requesting trades make for an easy loophole, but it's an important distinction. You have to provide the league and your team with plausible deniability. Your agent going on record about you wanting out doesn't exactly provide a lot of wiggle room.

For what it's worth, Rich Cho, the new GM of the Blazers told Spears that they're not in any hurry to do anything about Fernandez. Fernandez' situation is particular, but GMs are always wary of setting precdents which could lead to other situations. The cold hard truth is that Fernandez is under contract with the NBA. If the Blazers don't want to let him go, they don't have to. And if he doesn't play, he doesn't get paid. Unlike the other superstars looking for a new zipcode this summer, Fernandez doesn't have much in the way of leverage.

And the NBA certainly isn't going to be helping him out.

Since: Dec 5, 2006
Posted on: August 19, 2010 11:11 pm

Fernandez fined $25k for comments

So Senor Fernandez has expressed his dissatisfaction with the Blazers by refusing to play there again. He seems to forget a few salient points:

1. He is under contract for the next two years. That contract requires him to attend mandatory training camp, games, practices, and community events.

2. FIBA the international basketball authority does not allow a player under conract with a FIBA team (the NBA qualifies) to enter into a contract with another FIBA team which includes all of Europe. So announcing that he does not want to play in the NBA is the same as announcing his retirement from basketball for the next two years. Good luck getting those skills back after two years of inactivity.

3. Rudy claims the coaches' system is unsuitable for him. He claims he has not had opportunity to play "his game". The facts seem to rear their ugly face in his face to confront him. Coach Nate McMillan has a very established offensive which offers opportunity for a skilled player to creat his own shot and for a spot up shooter to knock down open threes. It is the same system that was in effect when Rudy chose to sign his contract. He had good success with that same system his rookie year. The second year, not so much. Perhaps his inability to take advantage of the opportunity to start at the 2 (SG) position while Brandon Roy was injured and his wide inconsistency in knocking down open shots were the bigger problems. Or was it the inability to stay in front of his man while defending that limited his minutes. Or perhaps that he was injured and required back surgery during the year a factor in limiting his opportunity. In any event he is attacking a veteran coach who is also a gold medal winning USA coach with Coach K. Maybe not the most believable opinion from a two-year player.

4. Andy Millar may be a fine agent. He may be reciting the words demanded of him by his client. But the sad truth is power play politics with a billionaire rarely comes out well. Paul Allen is not going to be intimidated. Andy has only hurt himself and his client by backing themselves into a corner. The league has not offered any real trade for Rudy because every week he makes himself more of a risk.,

I want to be clear that I have liked Rudy Fernandez. He has shown flair and skills that are rare. But he has not seen his role as a team player and that is the real sadness. Basketball is a team game and throwing his team under the bus by refusing to report is selfish, immature and sad. Perhaps there is a way to resolve this morass. Perhaps there is only a way for Rudy to end the rhyme by looking like an ...

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