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#pounditSunday, April 18, 2021

Blazers have sign that says ‘we don’t lose to Spanish players’ in locker room

Marc Gasol

The Portland Trail Blazers had a motivational sign in their locker room before their first playoff game against the Memphis Grizzlies that some may find offensive. The sign included the phrase “We don’t lose to Spanish players,” among other things.

What does this mean? It’s probably not a coincidence that All-Star center Marc Gasol, who was born in Spain, plays for the Grizzlies. He was asked about the sign after practice on Monday.

“I don’t know where it comes from and I don’t know what it means,” Gasol said, per John Canzano of 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.”

The Blazers had one Spanish player, Victor Claver, on their roster earlier this season.

The sign, which was a laminated piece of 8.5-inch by 11-inch paper, included several bullet points and “We don’t lose to Spanish players” was one of them. Others included “We will be tougher,” “We are better when we come to play” and “Nobody can beat us eight times in one year.”

Portland coach Terry Stotts said the sign was not meant to be seen by the public and should have been taken down.

“First of all, that wasn’t the only thing that was on that [card],” Stotts told Baxter Holmes of ESPN.com on Monday. “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.”

Since Stotts is admitting the bullet point was lighthearted, it’s safe to assume it was about Gasol. After seeing what Gasol is capable of in a game a few weeks ago, we wouldn’t blame the Blazers for being worried about him. Whether the message was offensive or not, Gasol should view it as a form of flattery.

Oh, and by the way, the Blazers lost to a Spanish player and his teammates in Game 1.

H/T Pro Basketball Talk

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