Saturday, February 14, 2009

Give it up for Rudy


I have to admit that, after watching Rudy's demeanor during dunk practice today, I was nervous. Nervous that Rudy was nervous. Nervous that Rudy was going to get embarrassed by some of the most athletic guys in the NBA, and maybe even the world.

But as anyone who watched the dunk contest knows, that wasn't the case. Rudy threw down the most inventive and technically difficult dunks of the night.

Sporting a vintage Fernando Martin jersey, Rudy threw the ball behind his back off the backboard, finished with the slam while drifting away from the basket. You ever seen that before, because I haven't. I've seen guys dunk over tall guys. I've seen guys double-pump. I've even seen guys jump really high and from in front of the free throw line to dunk, but I've never seen someone go behind the back off the backboard for a dunk.

And it wasn't just the dunk; it was the effortless with which Rudy executed it. First try. Seemed like nothing. Does that take away from it for some people, specifically the judges? If anything, he should be rewarded for making it look so easy. And this is from a guy who has played in three games over the last four days.

The second dunk was equally ridiculous. Last year, Dwight Howard did a version of that dunk, but he threw the ball himself and with no angle. Much easier. I don't recall what score he got for that dunk, but I'm guessing it was higher than the 42 Rudy was given. He was probably penalized by the judges for the number of attempts it took to get it right, but it didn't take any more time than driving in a forklift or hanging out in a cardboard box.

If Pau puts that pass on the money the first time, does Rudy make the second round? I guess we'll never know.

The dunk contest is alive and well, which is the good thing, but it's only going to stay that way if guys keeping bringing it fresh every year. The same plays pulling the same props win every time, then we're going to the point where, once again, nobody cares about the event. That doesn't serve anybody.

Just about every member I talked to after the game thought Rudy should have made the second round, but what do we know? Heck, none of us even played for the Suns a decade ago.

As far as the TNT announcers go, I'm reminded of the famous Mark Twain quote: It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.

To his credit, Rudy didn't complain a bit about the judging (at least in English; no promises about what he said in his native tongue.) More than anything, I think he was relieved he was done. And I think he probably surprised himself a bit too.

As for the dunks gone undunked, Rudy said afterward he was going to pull the much anticipated rainbow kick dunk if he made the second round, but unfortunately the world was robbed of that opportunity. Maybe Rudy will give it a go when we get back to Portland.

So lets here it Trail Blazers fans. What did you think of Rudy's performance? Surprised? Underwhelmed? Excited for a possible return next season? Speaking for myself, I couldn't be prouder of the guy. Way to go Rudy, you're a winner in my book.

EDIT: I've noticed that people have been asking about the rules regarding the time limit. Here is the official rules regarding time limits and final attempts.
TIME LIMIT - Upon receiving the ball from the referee, players will have 2:00 time limit to complete their dunk. Attempts resulting in missed dunks are unlimited during the 2:00 time period. However, once a made dunk is ruled by the referee, that dunk will be scored. There is no replacing a made dunk, even if time remains.

FINAL ATTEMPTS - If a player has not begun an attempt that results in a made dunk when the 2:00 clock expires, he will have two final attempts to do so. An attempt is defined as the ball leaving the player's (or his teammate's) hand in an effort to complete the dunk (in any motion other than dribbling). The referee is the final judge and will advise the dunker when they have used an attempt.
I think that vindicates Rudy's second dunk, as it came on the second attempt after time expired, but I could be wrong.

35 comments:

andrew said...

Rudy was great and I hope he knows that Portland is proud of him...he represented the Blazers well in the game and in the dunk contest. He got robbed no doubt. The Nate and Howard showdown was planned before the contest began, it didn't matter what dunk Rudy did. Go Rudy!

millertime said...

he should have gone to the second round. nate jumping off somebodies back was lame. so was jrs dunks. superman showed us how high he could jump last year with the sticker on the backboard. good job rudy

bobodingus said...

We love you Rudy. I am extemely dissapointed at how rigged this contest seemed to be. I love how right when the commentator said that he wouldn't be able to do the second one he packed with authority. I would love to see Rudy in the contest again. Thank you Rudy for representing and making us proud. Viva Rudy!!!!!!!

Francisco said...

(Español) Saludos desde España. Creo que los jueces han sido muy injustos con Rudy porque lo ha hecho muy bien, no se merecía una nota tan baja. Ha sido una pena, pero está claro que la NBA no le quería en la final. Espero que todo vaya bien en Portland, desde España os vemos muchos partidos y lo estáis haciendo muy bien, aunque dadle más minutos a Sergio Rodríguez que es muy buen jugador.

(English) Greetings from Spain. I think that the judges have been very unjust with Rudy because he has done it very well, such a low note was not deserved. What a shame, but it is clear that the NBA didn't want him in the final. I hope that everything is OK in Portland. In Spain we see many games and you are doing it very well, but give more minutes to Sergio Rodríguez who is a very good player.

BRoyFTW said...

Rudy got robbed and everyone knows it, the league, and you should know this company man, is all about money. Yeah we get it, Dwight is the guy everyone likes so he has to win. I bet Stern made sure Smith and Rudy got average scores easily beatable. While Dwight and Nate did uncreative basic dunks.

New York and Orlando are bigger markets I guess. Rudy should be proud. I'm sure there were a lot of people wanting to see him advance to see something new. I was one of them.

Allen35 said...

HEY FRANCISCO SERGIO SUCKS!!!!! HE IS LUCKY TO HAVE A NBA JOB!!!! GET OVER IT BRO! I HOPE THEY TRADE SERGIO ASAP! HE DESERVES NO PLAYING TIME AND IS A TURNOVER MACHINE! WATCH DEFENSE EURO!!!!!!!!!!!

jdawgg190 said...

Rudy easily had the best dunk of the first round and in my opinion the two best dunks of the first round. Those judges were a joke. How can a basic dunk on an 11 foot hoop for a 7 foot guy be a perfect 50. it was like a layup for him. david stern needs to do something to make the judging more fair for next year. Rudy should join the 3 point shootout next year.
Great job Rudy!!! and Go Blazers!!!

cogley said...

Fracisco,

we're glad you guys like watching the team... Rudy got completely screwed tonight. His dunks were easily the most inventive. Even if Pau isn't the best passer, it was cool seeing Rudy get a national team member to throw it to him. As for sergio, i don't know if i speak for everyone, but I love him. He's been playing great basketball and is showing he can run the team just fine. I agree w/ you, i think he needs more minutes.

Tom said...

I think Rudy should have used his best dunk second. There is no point in saving a dunk for the second round if you don't make it to the second round.

I don't think he did bad. Hopefully he can rest now.

Calblazer said...

How could David Stern allow an all Phoenix judging team, still bitter over trading Rudy for cash considerations, to obviously show their bias and discriminate against Rudy who clearly performed superior in the first round?

RuB said...

David Stern no queria a Rudy en la final.
Vergüenza!
Esta noche, la venganza de Pau!

David Stern did not want Rudy in the finals.
Shame!
This night, Pau's revenge!

Isaías said...

Rudy was robbed. Howard's second dunk was easy. We only saw he can dunk in a higher basket... 50p??!! Ridiculous. In that case,Robinson should have 50 points always because of his height. It was a easy dunk for Howard, but all was decided before start. Final: Howard vs Robinson. 3rd:Smith. 4th:Rudy. Smith was better than Rudy? Obviously not. Robinson? Yes, but his second dunk was poor. Howards? He is much better, but yesterday he didn't show it. I don't know if Rudy must be at the final, but he deserved to be closer.

sorry if my English isn't good XDD

_Sara_ said...

Rudy lo hiciste genial!! Un mate muy difícil y original,me encantó, desde España te queremos y apoyamos y por lo que estoy viendo alli en usa tambien te quieren mucho, ánimo y no olvides que has hecho historia campeón!!
P.D.: Yo al igual que los chicos del canal Cuatro también te doy un 10!

hg said...

Rudy wasn't the popular vote of America to be in the dunk contest in the first place. That might have angered the Eastern media dominance. Ask Clyde about the unfairness of the All-Star weekend. Other than Kobe (and the L*kers) no other Western conference players gets the same recignization.

Rudy was the first non American to get to the dunk contest. Which put two strikes against him, but he broke the ice.

Rudy did a great job. Playing against a stacked deck was his only down fall and of course using a L*er for his partner.

hg

soulraver211 said...

I realized when the dunk contest started it that it was going to be rigged.. it was so disappointing because for the other guys it was just a show, they knew they were going to win no matter what they did... for Rudy it was more, he was very creative and got so screwed i got so pissed off i could not watch anymore. We love you Rudy, you did amazing

chrisinhawaii said...

i hope everyone remembers a few years ago the longest dunk attempt in dunk contest histery. the one that made them change the rules and put in the time limit. Nate robinson is the guy. that year i cooked diner, ate it, had dessert and he still wasnt done trying to make the dunk. when he finally made it he got 9's and 10's. reggie millers comments said it all. before rudy even attempted a dunk he said "hes gatta do something REALLY nice". as if implying he is already behind the others. what a joke!

phi slamma said...

I agree with Millertime that Nate's dunk jumping off someones' back was lame. Why don't we just lower the rim 2 ft. for the same result? As for Rudy, I was nervous for him. His first dunk was probably the hardest of all the dunks in the first round yet he was given a 42. I knew he was in for a long night. Someone forgot to tell him that this is America. We don't care about fairness here. This was a popularity contest from the start. Dwight Howard could have gone out there and done a layup and still got a perfect score. I thought Rudy showed a lot of class. He made me proud have him on our team.

Óscar M. Ruiz said...

I think Rudy really surprised all. He did it fantastic and in Spain we are all proud of him. I really think that everyone in Spain has turned into a blazer supporter.
Hey Allen35: Sergio is a fantastic player!!!!

jwoo73 said...

You are right. Dwight Howard did an unconventional lay-up last year and one the dunk contest. The dunk contest is pathetic if a player can win without even dunking the ball. I do not care that he can jump high and throw the ball through the rim. That, by definition, is not a dunk.

Rudy did get robbed. I wouldn't argue that he deserved to win the whole thing, but his dunks deserved more points than they received.

A todo la gente de España, aprecio mucho los comentarios suyos y su amor por Sergio y Rudy. Muchísimas gracias por el apoyo.

flathead said...

rudy got robbed! reggie miller and kenny smith are a couple of tools and they both sounded like complete idiots disrespecting fernando martin(even if nobody knows who he is), rudy, the nba, themselves, and anyone else they could. fools!

rudy two of the three best dunks of the night. good job rudy!

darcy glynwilliams said...

As usual you make my heart skip a beat Rudy, te amo!

Go Trail Blazers!!

alex said...

I completely agree with what Isaías said. I'm not sure Rudy should have been in the final two, but he was definitely better than JR Smith, and he should have been close to Nate. Also I don't think Dwight Howard should have gotten a perfect 100 in the first round.

Yeung said...

Hi Rudy ,

My name's Gabriel and live in Hong Kong. Honestly, what you performed in the dunk contest were so impressive and increditible. I am not sure if you could win the game or not, but personally, your first dunk and second dunk were creatively and skillful. you are at least, as well as DHoward and Nate in my mind,
Keep it on Rudy !!!!

steamroller said...

I and my friends (in Spain) wait until 5:00 AM to see the slam dunk contest, but we do not get angry because at 4:45 we was absolutely drunkards.

¡ Go, Rudy, Go !

Nathaniel said...

Hey guys, if you feel as frustrated with the scoring of the dunk contest and the ignoramus comments made by the TNT staff as I did - please write a physical letter of frustration to the NBA and/or TNT. You can also write a letter of support to Rudy as I did:

The National Basketball Association
645 Fifth Ave
New York, NY 10022
Attn: Fan Relations

TNT
1010 Techwood Dr. NW
Atlanta GA 30318

Portland Trail Blazers
Attn: Rudy Fernandez
One Center Court, Suite 200
Portland, OR 97227

PILAR!!! said...

Hyyy I am Spanish and i think that rudy's dunks were better than the others. All my friends and a lot of people from Spain watched the Contest and it disappointed us. Rudy did a good job !!! The juror was very hard with him... only 42 points..rudy didn't deserve the last position... I hope that the next year won't be like this. uff I hope... but... rudy maybe won't go the next year... =( RUDY !! SPAIN STAY WITH YOU!! SOY PILAR de cordoba ESPAÑA y aqui somos super forofos tuyos !! y todos creemos que eres un crack !! sigue asii porque nos encantas !! xirimoya_@hotmail.com LEELOOOO !!!! por dioss !!!! jejeej

HARIS P. said...

RUDY That voodooo that you doo so well :). Nice job on representing us PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS in the rookie game and dunk contest. The judges don't know what a dunk is obviesly because for a high diffuculty shot like Rudy had they give the lowest score but for NAtes dunk of off some ones back let him make it to the final round it was all planned out. I could of dunked using a table to get up instead of some ones back oh and Rudy can dunk over HOWARD without using his hands on his back :) so take that. GOOD JOB RUDY KEEP IT UP.

Aleksi said...

A few things that could be added to the argument even as it stands, are:

1. Rudy's 2nd dunk was actually a mix of what Dwight Howard did last year, and what Andre Iguodala did a few years back. I'd actually go as far as to say that Dwight's dunk last year wasn't nearly as difficult as either Andre's or Rudy's, but it only shows that a having long 7 foot plus wingspan and decent jumping ability is all that is needed. The amount of coordination required to turn in the air, catch the ball and wrap an arm under the backboard but still get the ball over the rim is so technically difficult, it's nearly impossible.

2. The rule clearly states that a dunker gets 2 minutes and then 2 attempts after the two minutes. Some people have tried to say that Rudy was docked points due to his time to complete the dunk, but the fact of the matter is, the rule never says anything about that hurting his score.

3. Dwight's first dunk took him 1.5 minutes to complete and wasn't nearly as difficult, yet he got a score of 50.

4. JR Smith's 2nd dunk where he caught the ball from out of bounds got the same score as Rudy's second dunk, but it was clear that JR Smith had given up and just caught the ball casually and dunked.

These reasons alone are why the NBA really failed to deliver on the dunk contest. It's become a show with pseudo-acting and people don't want to see that. Unfortunately the people who complain won't be heard because you protest with wallets, and that's never going to happen.

Go Rudy!

Francisco said...

Dear Blazer fans,

As a true Spanish Blazer fan, I have to be thankful for all the nice gestures you have shown towards Rudy Fernandez after last Saturday's robbery. To be very honest, I don't think Rudy would have won the contest, but he definitely deserved to be on the next round. That matter, as frustrating as it is, is tiny compared to Reggie Miller and Kenny Smith's comments. Like millions of other Spanish NBA fans, I stayed until 5AM to watch that contest. yes, 5AM.... what for?? To get insulted with comments like "Amateurism of Spain as a country" or "that's Ricky Martin" ??? They're the only amateurs in this issue, the only morons who don't even know a bit about international basketball (Spain are silver medalists and current FIBA world champions), and who are so stupid to think their audience is only in the US.
The big time morons, though, are the people who allow those 2 ignorants to be heard worldwide. That is why I have filed a complaint on the TNT website: http://support.tnt.tv/ics/support/default.asp?deptID=5477 - (select topic and click on 'my answer is not here')
I doubt they will do anything about it, but at least they need to know how insulted all decent basketball fans are, and Spanish fans in particular.

GO BLAZERS!!!

hg said...

The thing with Rudy not getting into the finals was planned, because if he had gotton into the finals it was by popular vote and they knew Rudy would win. That is why they made sure he had low score.

I never heard what was said by Reggie and Smith.

hg

tnguyen said...

Rudy should do the soccer dunk at one of the home game for the fans.

bobodingus said...

What Reggie and Kenny said was terrible. I feel very upset that people worldwide had to hear that stuff. They had very little nice things to say about him which was frustrating. Once he nailed that incredible second dunk, then they started to say some ok things but they were still being rude. I hope someone talks to them about that. Oh well, Rudy has our support and always will.

laieta coll said...

Hey everybody,
Rudy was great and I think they should have given him more than just 42 points for the 1st dunk and I think the same for the 2nd dunk, at least the jury should have sent him to the second round. He was more than great, he was awesome!!
In my opinion the Slam Dunk Contest, the NBA -in general- and the All Star organizators were AFRAID that a white, european and Spanish World Champion would have won the Slam Dunk Contest, so they decide to rob him -and all the fans.

Ei! Rudy,
Si llegeixes això, que sàpigues que Sentmenat i Catalunya estan amb tu. Som uns quants els que creiem que t'han robat i que segur que haguessis guanyat el concurs, -si no haguessin manegat les votacions, es clar.
Em sembla que no es volen adonar de qui ets ni del potencial que tens, bé senzillament crec que tenien por de tu.
Ens sentim súper orgullosos de tu, i per tots nosaltres ets un guanyador, ETS EL GUANYADOR.
Aquí tens tot el meu suport i els dels meus amics, per sempre que el necessitis.
Gràcies per fer-nos somniar, Rudy.

Un petó i cuida't molt!

Laia Coll


P.D.: Continua així i passa'ls la mà per la cara tantes vegades com puguis :).

laieta coll said...

Hey everybody,
Rudy was great and I think they should have given him more than just 42 points for the 1st dunk and I think the same for the 2nd dunk, at least the jury should have sent him to the second round. He was more than great, he was awesome!!
In my opinion the Slam Dunk Contest, the NBA -in general- and the All Star organizators were AFRAID that a white, european and Spanish World Champion would have won the Slam Dunk Contest, so they decide to rob him -and all the fans.

Ei! Rudy,
Si llegeixes això, que sàpigues que Sentmenat i Catalunya estan amb tu. Som uns quants els que creiem que t'han robat i que segur que haguessis guanyat el concurs, -si no haguessin manegat les votacions, es clar.
Em sembla que no es volen adonar de qui ets ni del potencial que tens, bé senzillament crec que tenien por de tu.
Ens sentim súper orgullosos de tu, i per tots nosaltres ets un guanyador, ETS EL GUANYADOR.
Aquí tens tot el meu suport i els dels meus amics, per sempre que el necessitis.
Gràcies per fer-nos somniar, Rudy.

Un petó i cuida't molt!

Laia Coll


P.D.: Continua així i passa'ls la mà per la cara tantes vegades com puguis :).

Dan Hickman said...

Rudy, we're proud of how you represented our Blazers!

Class, style, brilliance... you've got to leave it in the judges hands, even if they're going to judge unfairly.

I thought Rudy's second dunk was spectacular. And his first dunk was great, but more important, classy. Way to go, Rudy! We love you!