By Joe Becker
Blazers Guard Rudy Fernandez took part in the NBA Slam Dunk Contest during All-Star Saturday. Fernandez paid tribute to former Blazer Fernando Martin, who was the first Spaniard to make it to the NBA. Sadly, Martin died in an auto accident in 1989. Rudy went behind his back off the backboard and then slammed it home. Nice Dunk, but the judges gave him a 42.
Rudy gets some help from his Spanish friend Pau Gasol of the Lakers. I'm sure it didn't sit too well with some Blazers fans that he was getting help from a Laker even though Gasol is a fellow countryman and friend. Unfortunately, for Rudy, it took 9 times before they got the dunk right. Gasol bounced it off the back of the backboard and Rudy grabbed it in mid-air for an up and under dunk. Sweet! It was one of the best dunks of the competition, but he only received 43 points. The fans booed and Rudy gave the judges a thumbs down. Rudy finished last in points just behind J.R. Smith of Denver.
Fernandez did a nice job though. Nate Robinson of the Knicks met Dwight Howard of the Magic in the finals. Howard was the defending champ. Both players were electrifying but Nate wins the contest with a dunk over Howard.
The icing on the cake is the All-Star game featuring Blazer Guard Brandon Roy. Enjoy the game and enjoy your day!