It all happened so fast. Travis Outlaw took about five to six steps backwards, ran forwards and jumped in the air.
Over a dude.
No basketball. No hoop. Just an NBA player jumping over a dude.
The dude had to be about 6-2….just a guess….but an accurate guess. But still, Travis got up there real quick, glided through the air and stuck the landing. He left the dude in awe. That made two of us. Outlaw had just finished another intense core workout with Martell Webster and a personal trainer and two other fellas getting their workout on at Club Sport in Tualatin on Tuesday morning.
And here you thought Rudy Fernandez’s arrival in Portland was crazy. Oh, wait. It was.
You haven’t seen anything yet.
Just wait until this kid – okay, he’s 23 – gets on the court and runs the floor with Brandon Roy and Greg Oden and finishes on the break at the Rose Garden. That’s when craziness ensues. This isn’t a knock on Rudy’s fellow countrymen – Pau and Marc Gasol, Jose Calderon and the rest of the Spanish National team – it’s just that Spain is the past and Portland is the present. And the present is looking pretty sweet right about now with training camp set to open on September 30.
Like Kevin Pritchard said yesterday, Rudy is ready. He’s been ready.
Pritchard and the Blazers’ scouting staff (who should receive a nice round of applause for their dedication in getting Rudy on-board) took-in one of Fernandez’s games during a scouting trip in Europe last year, and they all left thinking the exact same thought:
“This kid is ready for the NBA right now,” Pritchard said yesterday at Rudy’s press conference.
But still, once the regular season – or even preseason for that matter – gets underway, there will be an adjustment period for Fernandez on the court as I touched on today over at HOOPSWORLD. Rule changes will be an obstacle. We all know that. Officiating and the physicality of play in the NBA will also take some adjusting. Heck, it’s that way for guys who’ve been in the league for five-plus years.
Nonetheless, that’s the reality – the Rudy reality.
Much like Greg Oden, it’s going to take Rudy a little time to get acclimated in the offense and his role in the second unit. We know what Oden can do in practice, but game situations are completely different. The same goes for Rudy. The one difference is, we’ve already seen this summer what Rudy is capable of. Right, Dwight Howard? It’s no wonder Rudy calls himself a complete player. Whereas Greg’s freshmen year at Ohio State seems like forever ago. The Blazers can only hope his game is complete.
So now that Rudy is officially in town, the waiting game starts again.
We wait for Rudy to talk at Media Day this coming Monday about the journey ahead. We wait for Rudy updates from training camp. We wait to see Rudy in the preseason starting Tuesday, October 7 and of course, the season opener at the Staples Center against the Los Angeles Lakers. We wait for Rudy to roll with the second unit with Jerryd Bayless, Travis Outlaw, Ike Diogu and Joel Przybilla.
And we wait for Travis to jump over a dude in a game.