http://www.slamonline.com/online/nba/2011/03/five-minutes-with-rudy-fernandez/SLAM: Do you feel like you’re in a better place mentally right now than you were early in the season? Feeling more comfortable and confident?
RF: Absolutely. I’m enjoying my time on the court and the team feels better. We have to play together and as a unit.
SLAM: A lot has been made of you coming into the League after being a star in Spain. Can you tell me about some of the difficulties you have faced living in America?
RF: Sometimes it’s difficult, probably this year more than the other years because of the rumors this summer. You know, I have my head in Portland and I’m playing hard and focusing on my job. I’m focusing on basketball.
SLAM: Can you talk about those rumors? Do you want to stay in the NBA; is that a goal of yours?
RF: I enjoy it right now. On the court I feel better and I play free you know? I play confident. That is important for me right now. Coach trusts me with the plays, executing the plays. Yeah, I have fun on the court.
SLAM: How hard has it been being away from your family and close friends?
RF: It’s hard. For sure you miss your family, because probably for my teammates it’s a lot easier as far as travel. They don’t need visas, nothing. Sometimes it’s tough for my family to come visit me but its basketball…they try to come and visit for Christmas and holidays. Right now, it’s gotten better because I have great teammates.
SLAM: I have a friend in Spain who says several of the great basketball players there don’t want to leave the country. It’s a great place to live and you can play basketball there at a high level. But you followed your dream to play in the NBA, right?
RF: Yes, for sure. My dream is playing in the NBA. Right now I have the opportunity to play against the best players in the world. And I enjoy it right now on the court and I have some of the best teammates. They helped me with the transition every year and it doesn’t matter if my family is in town or not.