Thursday, December 3, 2009
Remembering Fernando Martin
Today is December 3, and most people are probably thinking about the Civil War. Nothing wrong with that. But if you've got a second, take a minute to remember Fernando Martin, the first Spanish player in the NBA who died 20 years ago today. Martin, a 6-10 power forward, signed as a free agent with the Portland Trail Blazers on May 6, 1986, playing 24 games for Portland in 1986-87, recording 22 points, 28 rebounds, nine assists and seven steals in 146 minutes.
After one season with the Trail Blazers, he returned to Spain to play for Real Madrid, where he played from 1981-1986 and 1987-89. Martin made 86 appearances on the Spanish National Team, earning the silver medal in the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles.
Most contemporary Trail Blazers fans will probably remember Martin thanks to Rudy Fernandez, who wore a No. 10 jersey in honor of Martin at last year's dunk contest, the video of which is above. I would turn the volume off if you're going to watch that clip. It's a little disrespectful to Fernando and Rudy.