Fernando Martín, the first Spanish in playing in the NBA

Fernando Martín, the first Spanish in playing in the NBA
Fernando Martin with the Portland Trail Blazers jersey (Photo: The Spanish)

Today we are used to seeing great Spanish tennis players in the NBA. But nevertheless, Good to know and recognize the man who broke the tremendous barrier between Spanish and American basketball. Who taught us that what seemed impossible, It was not. The great Fernando Martín.

Raised in Students and after triumphing in the Real Madrid, He came the great opportunity to make the big jump to the best league in the world. It was in the season 1986-1987 when that pivot of 2,05 meters high and only 23 years would have the opportunity to rub shoulders (never better said) with The best players in the world.

The Portland Trail Blazers, which at that time they were one of the best teams in the league, They were with the services of the young man so promising that already dominated in Europe. In his hotel room they confirmed its presence in the squad and gave him the shirt with the '10’ To the back. The first thing he said was missing in the tilde Martin, to make it clear what his Spanish surname.


The 31 October 1986 It came the historic debut first Spanish player who debuted in the NBA in all history. Something that still has more merit if we consider that it was the second European playing in the league without having gone through the university league. His role in that first match between Portland and Seatle Supersonics It was rather anecdotal since only disputed 2:02 minutes and did not have the chance to shooting baskets. But that was the least. Fernando Martín He had achieved something far more important.

Fernando Martín Portland
Fernando Martin in his debut against the Seatle Supersonics (Photo: Brand)

The race of Fernando in the NBA was short-lived. Only he played one season in which he accumulated 23 matches with an average of 6,1 minutes and just one point and one rebound per game. Blazers coach, Mike Schuler, as the vast majority of NBA coaches, It was not given to give opportunities to foreign players. His best game this year was the 2 December with 6 points, 7 rebounds, an assist and a plug in the victory against the Clippers.

The pivot returned to Spain and continued to accumulate successes with T-Shirt Real Madrid with which he managed 4 ACB leagues, 3 Copas del Rey, 1 Spain Supercup, 2 European Cup Winners Cup and Korac. further, was international in 86 Sometimes making the selection, among other things, the historic silver medal at the Olympics in Los Angeles 1984.


The 3 from December to 1989, when he was 27 years, Fernando Martín He died after suffering a traffic accident. The jersey number 10 She was withdrawn and no other player Real Madrid he has dressed again in his memory. We will always legacy one of the best players in the history of the white club.

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