"I want to have fun playing basketball," Rodriguez said. "I want to enjoy the game like I used to enjoy it."
And on his relationship with Nate:
"Our relationship is good," Rodriguez said. "It is a correct and professional relationship. He has told me many times before in the past what I have to work on. It's not one or two things, it's everything. And I want to be the best player I can be, so I will have to work on everything."
Nate on his relationship with Sergio:
"The thing is, everybody is not going to like you," McMillan said. "I think it has been professional, and it has been tough for him. I know that. Everybody wants to play, and somebody is not going to be able to play, that's coaching. I try to talk to him and explain to him what we are doing, and let him know when I want to play him and why he is not playing."
You've got to feel for the guy. Just a season ago, he was tantalizing a city with that flashy wide-open play. Then he came out and basically got outplayed frequently when given major minutes, in summer league. He followed that up with a year on the bench, and now is afraid he won't make Spain's Olympic team.
When the Sergio hype got out of control in Portland, I had a knee-jerk reaction that was inappropriately directed somewhat at Rodriguez. Now I am really pulling for him as the deck seems stacked against him. He will never be a "Nate guy," in fact he's close to the antithesis of Nate's whole concept of the position. He is being asked to subvert his entire identity to become a player he is not, and it is draining the enthusiasm and confidence out of him. Here's one young piece that would probably benefit from being traded to another team, and maybe he'll be freed this summer. Keep your head up.