Today the Blazers held the final interviews with the players for the 2009-2010 season. Aside from this incredible (pg-13) t-shirt from Nicolas Batum, the clear highlight was listening to Rudy Fernandez dance through questions about his future.
Here's a transcript of most of Rudy's comments in their entirety. It's as exact as possible. There are a few sections that get choppy because of the language barrier.
Have you thought about next year?
This summer we need to talk with Nate and Kevin about what we are going to do about next year, you know?
Have they given you an idea of what you should work on this summer?
Um, no. We talk maybe tomorrow.
How do you feel this season went for you?
I feel a little sad, you know, because the playoffs probably a big deal for us... lose the last game in the Rose [Garden], we don't do... For me personally, it was a tough year, up and down, about my injury, my confidence. I don't know this year, I think it's important to learn every year. But I have a contract in Portland and right now we'll see this summer.
Do you think you'll be back?
I have a contract here. I don't know if I'm going to be here or not. I have contract here. I want to stay with big players, big talent on this team. Right now I have a contract.
Do you want to be in Portland next year?
It doesn't matter what I want. It doesn't matter what I want. The possibility is to trade me, or the possibility [for me] leaving is for Portland to decide. I have a contract and I need to stay ready for everything.
If you had a choice would you be back here or would you want to go somewhere else?
The same. I have no choice. I have a contract here and I stay happy with the fans, with the city, I love the teammates. Right now I don't have a choice. My contract is in Portland. Maybe if nothing happens this summer, I'm back to Portland.
How do you get your confidence back?
Yeah, it's a little difficult you know. It's a tough year probably for my injury and the games up and down. It's a tough year, every year you learn about it. I learn about it mentally in my career and I think it's great. I'm a professional player and I need to stay ready every time.
If you were going to return to the same situation as this year would you request a trade?
For sure I don't want to stay in the same situation next year. I think it's normal. This year probably by my injury and I think a lot of injuries on the team, I think it's a difficult year for us, for everyone. But for sure I want to play more, play happy on the court. Sometimes this year I'm a little sad on the court.
Did you enjoy this year?
I want to. I want to enjoy. I enjoy in the season a lot of games but sometimes I was a little upset about my role but I think it's normal. Coach is a great coach, it's a great year for all the injuries on the team. For sure, you can ask every one of my teammates, for sure they want to play more. But we have 12 players and we can only play 5.
Are you sorry that you came to Portland?
No. I have a contract in Portland and I decide with the team how my situation will be this summer. I need to talk with Kevin and with Nate about my role next year. But I played, I work out this summer, to stay ready for my national team in the World Championships.
How badly do Spanish fans want you to play in Spain?
For me to play in Spain? I don't know. I think they prefer I play in the NBA. Because it's the best league in the world, I don't think it's excited for me to come back to Spain. For sure they want the players in Spain to play in the best league. And right now the NBA is the best league.
What do you want your role to be here?
Different than this year. I think it's a tough situation for the team with the injuries. A little play more, play with confidence. I think that's what I want.
Do you have a number of minutes in mind that you want to average?
I think the minutes is not important, sometimes important. I want to stay happy with take the ball, take my shots. Sometimes this year probably not.
Do you want to stay in Portland?
I want to stay ... I want to stay happy. And I want to play. I have contract in Portland and Portland is the first team that gave me the opportunity to play in the NBA. But we'll see this summer. We'll discuss my role this year. And we'll see this summer.
Do you plan to ask the Blazers for a trade?
No because Portland is the opportunity to trade or not trade. It's not my opinion. Right now I'm focusing on my contract and my contract is being in Portland.
Do you have any regrets this season?
Any regrets, anything you would take back from this season?
Yeah for sure I want to change little things. You know, it's tough here for everyone. We'll see this summer.
What are those little things that you would change?
I don't know. Maybe... play more. [smiles]
I need to take care of my body and that's it.
-- Ben Golliver | firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter
P.S. Brother Wendell Maxey had more with Rudy after last night's game.