Rudy Fernandez--the chiseled-jawed future of the Blazers (like Greg Oden, en espanol)--got introduced to the giddy Portland media this afternoon. Fresh off the plane, where a large crowd greeted him at PDX, and with his mom in the front row, Fernandez was a little shell-shocked at first, but opened up a bit as the media event progressed. Clearly a little self-conscious about his English speaking ability (I feel for him--a room full of bright lights, reporters, and cameras wouldn't do wonders for my broken Spanish), his mostly shy responses all pointed to the fact that the guy wants to play, and prove himself on this side of the globe, as soon as humanly possible.

I have a feeling that if I tossed a ball at Rudy during the press conference he'd break into a game right there on the spot. I also have a feeling that if I tossed a ball at Rudy during the press conference, I'd be escorted outside by Rose Garden security.

A beaming Kevin Pritchard ("I think our future looks so bright") introduced Rudy (can we just officially go on a first-name basis now?), who, commented (via his translator) on his Olympic experience playing against the gold medal USA team: "His first thought is respect. His second though was 'I'm going to kick their ass.'" Also, when asked by our very own Andrew Tonry what he'll miss most about his home country of Spain, he replied "My family, my friends, and the food." Can someone recommend a tapas restaurant? Otherwise he'll be dining with Oden at Chiptole, and no one wants that.

Almost a month until the start of the regular season!