Posted September 23, 2008 - 01:51 PM
transcripcion completa de la entrevista, ya k no hay video completo
On the welcome fans gave him when he arrived at Portland International Airport:
I'd have to say, I can't believe when I arrived to the airport, what, 200 people saying "Rudy! Rudy! Welcome to Portland!" It's incredible. In Spain, I can only so Spain in Soccer, not in basketball. So when I arrived with my mom and me, surprised. But it's a good surprise. It's a good surprise. When I arrived I say, 'OK, I go practice now? Let's go. Let's go." Everybody is big about these fans. Is very good, is the best fans in the NBA.
On what he gained from his Olympic experience:
"For me it's very good because I played minutes in this moment (Translator: He has seen that he is ready to play against the best).
On the part of his game that he is most proud of:
I think I can defense. I'm complete, you know. I like defense, I like to stick the ball. But never (Translator: He has to improve, and wants to improve, in every aspect of the game. Even though he thinks he's a complete player).
His thoughts on what the transition to the NBA will be like:
I don't know. I'm excited to practice because I think the practice is important in the preseason. And after the games, I don't know when I play. But now is important to practice to get in the groove now is the most important.
On where he learned to play with his style of being in constant motion:
(Translator: The most important thing is to work every day. But of course it has a lot to do with the coaches that he has been with all his life. But the activity is something he has and he brings to the team on both offense and defense. It doesn't mean if its five minutes or all the game, you need to give your 100 percent out to the court).
What he'll miss most about Spain:
My family, my friends ... the food. (Translator: Since he had all the stuff and he's been here in Portland, he thinks this is a family and it's going to be easy for him to be in his new family).
On the role he sees himself playing this season, and whether he can be satisfied coming off the bench:
I want to help the team. It doesn't matter. It's his decision, the coach. My objective is to play in the NBA. I played five years in ACB, I think it's the second-best league in the world. But my dream is to play with the best players in the world. Now Portland give me the opportunity to play in the NBA.
On whether he was thinking about the fact that he would soon be competing nightly against the NBA players he faced in the Olympics:
The first time is respect, but the second time is ... (translator: Um the first thought is respect; but the second thought is, 'I'm gonna kick their (behind)). Nate McMillan: "I like that." Kevin Pritchard: "Me too."
On the difficulty of the decision to leave Europe and come to the NBA:
I think when Kevin Pritchard called, everybody called me, they said Portland excited to come here. (Translator: Everything that Portland did to recruit him, even that it was a big part economically a difference between staying there and here, but mainly everything that they did to recruit him. And also was a big factor, video conference call that they had here with Nate. And it was important for Rudy to make that decision.
Aside from those factors, was the decision hard to make:
My family, they helped a lot in this decision because they know it's my dream, is play in the NBA. The money, dare I say, it doesn't matter. I think one player ... (Translator: A player has to yield his dreams. His dream was to play in the NBA and to play for Portland and try to win a title."
On whether he has started working to improve his strength:
(Translator: He knows he needs to improve in this aspect. He's been lifting weights many years, and of course he needs to get a little stronger to compete. But he feels that this is not the most important thing, which is intensity and is active in both sides of the court).
Today's a great day. This process started so long ago and, I think five years (ago) I saw Rudy play in what's called the Copa Del Rey as a young kid. And I didn't go to see him specifically, but for other players. But I kept watching this player, he caught our eye, we followed him. And that culmination leading up to what's happening today, I couldn't be more thrilled. This organization couldn't be more thrilled. And what's really special about it is two things. No. 1 is, as you get to know Rudy and what he's about, he's exactly what we want in a player. He's a team player, he's a great kid, and I think he'll raise the level of everybody else, and that's what I think we're excited about more than anything. And the second thing is, we know he has played at the highest level of competition in the world. And so, those two things are very important. We expect big things out of him. We know that there's going to be a transition. But we do feel like he is immediate help. And what he's been able to do in his book of business, so to speak, his resume speaks for itself. And I do feel like this is the perfect time for him to come over. We're an up (and) coming team and — let me back up just a second. One of the things that's very unique, and I was talking about this earlier today, is that, we've got Nate, who's the best young coach in this league. We've got a young team that's up and coming. But we didn't get Rudy just because of that. I do believe the organization got Rudy. And I can't tell you that that would've happened in the past. But this organization is in great hands. ... Now that I think about all the time and how we've put in sort of a recruiting of Rudy, because we all know that Rudy is a major, major international player -- if not one of the best, the best. He had lots of options. But for us today to say that we've got Rudy as part of our team, I couldn't feel better, and I think our future looks so bright. And I just ran into Schonz, Bill Schonely, and he said, "Rip City's back." And I totally believe that.
On the plans to integrate Rudy with his new teammates:
Well, first of all the big thing is to make sure he's got a place to stay, get acclimated to the city, and then as the week progresses, get him into the practice facility, meeting the players, and then, the one thing I worried about with Rudy, and Nate and I talked about this quite a bit, is his summer's been filled. They ended their season late and then they went right into the Olympics. So there were thoughts of bringing him in early and getting him situated a little early. But it didn't feel like it was the right decision. The right decision was, get him a little time off. So we're gonna have him for a long time, and we're gonna get him acclimated, and we're gonna get him a tutor to help him with his english. We were just talking about that. I think it's very good for where it is right now. We feel good about that. But communication with the coach is going to be pretty important. And so, we'll ramp that up, and that's something that's exciting. And I know this for a fact, that Brandon, LaMarcus, Greg, they'll make him feel at home.
On what Rudy will face in making the transition to the NBA game:
The rule change is No. 1. There are rule changes. The way officials officiate games. The physicality. He has to get stronger — he knows that, we've talked about that. But you know, what's amazing is, we saw him this year, we recruited him, we told him we wanted him, saw him in a game, and Tom Penn, Chad Buchanan, Mike Born, we all left the game and said, "This kid is ready for the NBA right now. It's not a year. It's not two years. It's, this kid is ready for the NBA right now. I think he passes the ball exceptionally well. You see his activity level. I don't think he's scared. You know, Nate might like this, but Rudy might make a pass and you think, 'What the heck is he doing?' But he'll make it again and he'll complete it. And he's got that internal confidence that I think will allow him succeed. And you've got to have somebody out there willing to make mistakes, too. Brandon does that. There's something special in this kid. No doubt about it.
On what he saw in person that made him excited about Rudy: He plays the game the right way. You guys, you saw him live on television. But to see him live, the one thing that you respect, and I do and everybody else, is when you play the game right, he has mentioned, I think you've heard him talk about team more than anything. And we were just up in a meeting just upstairs, and one of the things that came across that he said upstairs was, they asked him about his name. He wore Rudy on his jersey in the Olympics. And somebody asked him why didn't he have Fernandez on his jersey. And he went right to, 'It really doesn't make a difference. The name on the front of the jersey is the most important thing to him. He plays the game the right way. He plays it with passion. He plays it at both ends of the floor. He plays it with his heart. and when you have a guyk like that, you rarely see that in the NBA. You have guys who are, they give that effort on one end of the floor, well, Rudy does it on both ends of the floor. And that's one of the things I got excited about. If you remember watching him, he was stealing the ball, he was going to the offensive glass, he was out in transition, he was making passes, he's playing the game on both ends of the floor. And I think when you have a guy who plays every possession, and he plays it hard, but the potential that he has. It's going to be a learning curve, and we've got to be patient. We've got to allow him to come out here and play and figure out this game. But once he does, the way he plays the game, he's going to be a special player.
On whether he feels excited to see Rudy playing in Portland:I remember watching Rudy in the first game when we were at the Olympics, the coaching staff went over to scout the game, and Kobe went with us. He was the only player who went over to owatch that game, and Rudy had a good game his frist game over there. And Kobe looked back at me and said, 'That's your kid, huh?' And he was like, 'He's pretty good.' He plays the game the right way. You can't help but get excited about having players like that. But we're adding a couple guys like that this season. Greg will be coming back. We feel like Bayless brings that potential to the floor. To add Rudy to the mix of our players, again, we like the direction that we're going, we like the direction that we have, that will start next Monday. He's going to bring some excitement. I think you guys are really going to appreciate and respect the way he plays the game because he plays it with passion. And as he mentioned, regardless of how many minutes he played -- and one of the things that I asked him, I said, "Why didn't you start in the gold medal game?" And his coach went to him right before -- I didn't know this until just a few minutes ago -- but his coach went to him just a few minutes before the gold medal game and told him he wasn't starting. Well, watching him in warmups, you would've never known. His attitude didn't change. He wasn't out there, down or upset about the rotation. I didn't know he wasn't starting until basically a couple minutes, until they turned in their starting lineup. But he played the game. And what I'm trying to say is, to have a guy like that, he's been playing well all tournament long, the coach takes him out -- not that that'll ever happen here -- the coach takes him out of the starting lineup in the gold medal game, but it doesn't affect him. He comes out, and he still has a great, great game. Mentally, that does not affect him. It's all about team. 'OK coach, if that's what you want to do, I'll make it work.' And that's the type of guy we're dealing with here.'