Trail Blazers posted anti-Spanish-players sign in locker room

ByBaxter Holmes ESPN logo
Monday, April 20, 2015

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- The Portland Trail Blazers had a laminated card in their locker room at the FedExForum on Sunday that included the phrase "We don't lose to Spanish players."

The Memphis Grizzlies, the Trail Blazers' opponent in their Western Conference first-round series, feature one of the NBA's most prominent Spanish players, All-Star center Marc Gasol.

Gasol, who was born in Barcelona, responded to the comment Monday. "I don't know where it comes from, and I don't know what it means," Gasol said after practice, according to The Oregonian."I have better things to think about than what they're writing on the wall. They've had Spanish players on their team in the past. I can think of three in the recent past. I don't know and I don't care."

"First of all, that wasn't the only thing that was on that [card]," Trail Blazers coach Terry Stotts said Monday, a day after his team's 100-86 Game 1 loss to the Grizzlies.

"I wouldn't classify that as the only message of the day. But that being said, it was a motivational thing, and I think the Spanish thing was a little lighthearted. It was the things we needed to do to win the series."

A team spokesman said the card wasn't intended to be public, but it was reportedly still affixed to a television monitor when media entered the Trail Blazers' locker room before Game 1. The card was first mentioned in a column in The Oregonian.

The column noted that the card was titled, "We are Rip City" and included the following messages: "We will be tougher," "Nobody can beat us eight times in one year," "Win the dog fight," "We will play as a team and outwork Memphis each and every night," "We are better when we come to play," a promise to be "[Expletives] on defense" and "Staying together through adversity."

The Trail Blazers have had several Spanish players over the years, including Rudy Fernandez, Sergio Rodriguez and Victor Claver. In the mid-1980s, they also had Fernando Martn Espina, the first Spanish player in NBA history.

Game 2 of their series is Wednesday in Memphis.

Related Video