Maybe Real Madrid wants to buy out Rudy Fernandez

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There is nothing new in Rudy Fernandez not being happy in Portland. He wasn’t happy when our own Matt Moore was writing about him in February. He’s not happy now when Kerry Eggers of the Portland Tribune is talking to him now.

Fernandez is an athletic two guard who should be allowed to run free, but is stuck in the dragged-out half-court game of the Trail Blazers. Stuck on the bench. He feels isolated, has no close friends on the team and just wants a chance to play. When he does get some burn, he reminds you that he is a good player that should be getting more minutes. Somewhere.

The talk about returning to play in Spain is nothing new, either. Specifically powerhouse Real Madrid. But Eggers asks an interesting question:

Would Real Madrid do the opposite of what so many NBA teams have done and be willing to buy out his contract?

It’s not uncommon for an NBA team to have to pay a foreign team with the rights to a player to get him released from a contract. That is the way of European sports leagues. But the reverse is very uncommon.

Is it worth a few million to Real Madrid to get him now rather than later? Would Portland be willing to let him go?

In a summer where bigger names will get bigger headlines, this could be an interesting little sub-plot.

PBT Extra bold prediction previews: No, Lakers are not playoff bound

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When you ask Lakers fans for bold predictions, you get the delusional to come out of the woodwork.

Most Lakers fans I know — remember, I’m a former Laker blogger living in So Cal, even my optometrist wants to talk Lakers during my eye exam — are realistic about where the team is in the rebuild process. Like me, they want to see a healthy season of Kobe Bryant where he can choose whether or not to continue his career on his terms, not Father Time’s.

But Lakers exceptionalism is a thing, and there are Lakers fans living in a fantasy land.

That’s what Jenna Corrado and I get to in the latest PBT Extra: There are Lakers fans that think they are playoff bound. And there are people who expect even more than that from this team this year — like Kobe Bryant to return to MVP form. Those people need to stop taking so much glaucoma medication.

Thabo Sefolosha’s lawyer: White police officer targeted black Hawks forward

Thabo Sefolosha
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NEW YORK (AP) — A lawyer representing a professional basketball player arrested outside a New York City nightclub has told a jury his client was targeted because he’s black.

Attorney Alex Spiro said Tuesday in Manhattan Criminal Court that a white police officer saw a black man in a hoodie when he confronted the Atlanta Hawks’ Thabo Sefolosha on April 8.

Sefolosha was arrested while leaving a Manhattan nightclub following a stabbing. He subsequently suffered a season-ending leg fracture after a confrontation with police.

A prosecutor said in opening statements that Sefolosha called an officer who repeatedly told him and others to leave a “midget.”

Sefolosha pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor obstructing government administration, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest charges. The Swiss citizen declined a plea deal from prosecutors.