Former NBA Player and Olympic Medalist Announces Retirement – TechVerdant

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Former NBA player and current Real Madrid great Rudy Fernandez has officially announced his retirement at the end of his season:

“The word retirement is difficult to say, but I’ve reached a certain age and I’m starting to think about other things, about my family,” Fernandez told a news conference on his 39th birthday.

“I’ve got a few months left and I hope to be able to contribute as much as I can,” he said.

Although he played a few seasons in the NBA, Fernandez is most known for his overseas success. Representing Spain, Fernandez is a three-time Olympic Medalist (two silver medals and one bronze). Additionally, he is a three-time EuroLeague champion, a one-time EuroCup champion, and a one-time EuroCup Finals MVP, among many other accolades.

Former NBA Player and Olympic Medalist Announces Retirement

Rudy Fernandez’s NBA Career

After a successful stint with the Club Joventut Badalona, Fernandez declared for the 2007 NBA Draft. In the draft, the Phoenix Suns selected Fernandez with the No. 24 pick. However, the team immediately traded him to the Portland Trail Blazers. During the 2008-09 season, his rookie campaign, Fernandez averaged 10.4 points while shooting 42.5% from the field and 39.9% from the three-point line. Fernandez finished No. 9 in Rookie of the Year voting that season.

For the next two seasons, Fernandez became one of Portland’s best bench scorers. In the 2011 offseason, however, the Trail Blazers traded the Spanish native to the reigning champions, the Dallas Mavericks. Fernandez never suited up for the Mavericks, though, as they sent him to the Denver Nuggets in December 2011. With Denver, the 6’6″ guard only played 31 games, starting one of them. In those games, he averaged 8.6 points while shooting 44% from the field and 32.8% from beyond the arc. After the 2011-12 season, Fernandez returned to Spain and played for Real Madrid, where he has played up to this date.

Leaving the NBA at just 27 years old was a bold move. However, Fernandez cited “being a better player” in Spain as his biggest motive for going back:

“Here probably I’m a better player, I can do everything – not like my years in the NBA,” Fernandez told CNN’s Human to Hero series.

“The NBA, it’s a business for sure, so when you sign a contract you have to know you might get traded to another team, another city. And you start playing 82 games in one season, it’s a lot of basketball.”

Additionally, Fernandez talked about wanting to be a leader in Spain, “I came here to be the leader and win trophies.”

The Last Word on Rudy Fernandez’s Retirement

Fernandez is one of the more interesting “what-ifs” of the 2010s. He showed flashes of being a potential NBA All-Star in his short time in the league. However, he found huge success playing for his home country, which seems to be a much more important aspect of basketball to him.

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