Such is the state of the world that most of us would rather see Real Madrid’s soccer team — with Cristiano Ronaldo and Kaka — than their basketball team, but we’ll take what we can get.
Real Madrid — which includes Rudy Fernandez and Sergio Rodriguez — will take on the Memphis Grizzlies in a preseason game in Tennessee, the team announced (via SLAM).
This is just more of the international growth of the game. The NBA has sent teams to Europe and China and Mexico for a decade now to spread the gospel of the league. But now some of the bigger European teams — Real Madrid this year, Barcelona before — are willing to come here to do the same.
The game will be Oct. 6 at the FedEx Forum.
We were all a little surprised when Ronny Turiaf turned down his player option with the Heat and become a free agent.
So where does he land? There are worse places to go than Madrid.
European power Real Madrid is in the running, according to a report out of Spain (via Hoopshype):
Turiaf likely is going to wait to see how the NBA market plays out over the next couple of weeks, as teams miss out on current targets his name will come up. These will be veteran minimum deals. But if nothing really materializes he is a member of the French national team who understands the international game and what is expected of him. And Real Madrid has some NBA talent on the roster, including Rudy Fernandez who just signed. Something to watch.
For the past couple summers, Rudy Fernandez has had the Real Madrid card in his back pocket.
Two years ago he tried to get Portland to release him so he could go play for the Spanish powerhouse, but that wasn’t happening. Instead they traded him to Denver. Fernandez played for Madrid during the lockout, but returned to Denver only to need back surgery that kept him out most of the season.
Now he is a free agent and he is trying to use Madrid for leverage to get a better deal. At least that’s what it sounds like in an interview with Spanish site TuBasket.
“We’ll see if the Nuggets make a good offer to me or not.”
The rumor last summer was that Fernandez made a multi-year handshake agreement with Madrid, but his contract had to allow him to come back to Denver if the lockout ended so the extra years could not be formalized. Now he just sounds like a guy looking for the most money.
Fernandez says in the same interview it is possible he will be healthy enough to play for Spain in the Olympics. However, players are usually poor judges of when they will return and he is expected to be out. We’ll see.