Trevor Ariza wasn’t going to try to run from history. He remembers that play from 2009, when he was trying to chase down Portland’s Rudy Fernandez in the open court, hit Fernandez in mid-air and sent him crashing to the floor with an injury to his back.
Fernandez, who left the game on a stretche, missed the next two games.
Ariza expressed some hope that people would not hold the play against him as a new member of the Portland Trail Blazers.
“It wasn’t intentional,” he said Wednesday in his introductory meeting with the local media. “It was a basketball play. It wasn’t a dirty play, just a play on the ball.”
Acquired from the Sacramento Kings in a deal announced Tuesday, Ariza, who addresses the play in the video above, is expected to take over as the Trail Blazers’ starting small forward Thursday night when Portland plays host to the Dallas Mavericks.