The Portland Trail Blazers have a list of motivational phrases laminated on a card in their locker room. Some of them are pretty generic (“Win the dog fight,” “We are better when we come to play”), another addresses their current opponent (“We will play as a team and outwork Memphis each and every night”), and one is just flat-out bizarre: “We don’t lose to Spanish players”.
There’s just one small problem with that last one: after a 100-86 shellacking by the Grizzlies last night, the two best Spanish players in the league — Pau and Marc Gasol — are a combined 6-1 against them (the Blazers split their season series with the Bulls). If you add Ricky Rubio’s Timberwolves to the mix, you can add two more games in the loss column. Another slogan claims “Nobody can beat us eight times in one year”. The Grizzlies are three wins away from rendering that one false as well.
Somewhere, the ghost of Rudy Fernandez is wearing a shit-eat grin.