Paul Allen, owner of the Trail Blazers, doesn’t miss too many games at the Rose Garden, so it was a little surprising to see that he wasn’t in his customary courtside seat for Tuesday night’s 102-82 victory against the Washington Wizards.
As it turns out, Allen’s reason for missing one of the Blazers’ most emphatic victories of the year was so that he could catch a glimpse of what the Blazers future may hold.
Allen traveled across the Atlantic to the city of Badalona, Spain, to watch Rudy Fernandez (whose NBA rights are held by the Trail Blazers) and his current team, DKV Joventut, defeat MMT Estudiantes 97-89 in an ACB League match. Fernandez made Allen’s trip more than worthwhile, leading all scorers with 30 points in 30 minutes of work while adding four rebounds and three assists in the win. Rudy’s impressive night was helped by going 5-of-11 from three point range and 13-of-15 from the free throw line.
Along with getting a chance to see Rudy play in person, Allen also had a chance to talk to the 6-6 forward’s father during the game. Allen joked that, despite being the owner of the team, he was simply fulfilling the duties of an advanced scout for the Trail Blazers.
The trip might have come as a surprise to Fernandez, but the news was hardly surprising to Trail Blazers General Manager Kevin Pritchard, who talked to Allen on Wednesday.
“He was pretty excited,” Pritchard said. “His trip reinforced what we already know, that Paul is the best owner in professional sports. He loves this team, and is committed to doing whatever he can to ensure our success.”