Well, the Rudy saga ended today.
Rooting for Rudy has been frustrating at times, moreso towards the end of his Blazers tenure.
That said, there is still much that I appreciate about his having been a Blazer.
I'll always remember the excitement of his rookie year. There was the build-up, watching Nate trying to contain himself in Beijing as he watched Rudy hit clutch jumpers and posterize D. Howard. Then there were the Rodriguez-Fernandez "Spanish Armada" alley-oops. And there was Rudy setting the NBA rookie 3-pointers made record, threading crafty passes, and playing with fire and joy.
Somewhere along the way, things went south. Maybe it was the Ariza foul, and Rudy's subsequent back troubles. Maybe the rain and homesickness got to Rudy. Whatever happened, the drama, the complaining, and the inconsistent play finally soured the fan-player relationship.
Be that as it may, I'm glad we got to cheer for Rudy. Things went sour, but at the beginning, the sky was the limit. And even after we learned that Rudy would not become the Spanish Michael Jordan, there were occasional moments of magic... a steal, a big shot, or Rudy's "too-little-too-late-but-so-tantalizingly-exciting" 3-pointer explosion against the Suns in the first round.
Farewell Rudy, and fare thee well.