Jordi Fernández, the first Spaniard to direct an NBA game

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  • The expulsion of Mike Brown gave the Badalonian the option to make his debut as head coach in a US league game with the Sacramento Kings

  • ” I'm personally proud, but the most important thing is to be able to give Brown and the group the victory in general,” said the Spanish coach

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Jordi Fernández, the first Spaniard to direct an NBA game

Jordi Fernándezit became this past dawn in the first Spanish coach to lead an NBA team in an official match and thus be able to win. He is a little closer to the dream of becoming the main person in charge of one of the 30 benches in the American league for which he has worked for so many years.

Born in Badalona 39 years ago, Fernández directed the film. He beat the Sacramento Kings in the victory against the Toronto Raptors (123-124), after the ejection occurred in the third quarter of< strong> Brown for a double technique, which opened the game. The door to making history in the NBA and in Spanish basketball.

“The coach's expulsion has already been seen. I think that the fact that he fought so much for his players, the players responded. I think it was a collective effort. The assistants were calm and helped me a lot. Just like each of the players,” said Fernández when he went to the hospital. to the press room. “Today and it has been an example of not looking for excuses, not complaining and finishing those minutes that were left and finishing with the victory. Personally I am proud but the most important thing is to be able to give the victory to Mike and the group in general”.

One of the team's stars, Domantas Sabonis, son of the legendary Arvydas, praised the team's performance. he worked by Jordi Fernández. “We had to do it for him (Brown). Jordi taking the lead did a great job. I'm just happy about that,” Domantas explained in statements to Efe, and joked that Fernández is very “heavy and annoying” with defensive work.

“He's doing well.” doing very hard work. In defense he is always there. Telling you where to be and helps us a lot. He is the first coach in defense and so that's how we're going to win games”, added Sabonis, author of 21 points and 20 rebounds in the game against the Raptors, who could count on Juancho Hernangómez, already recovered from his sprained ankle, and that 5 points and 5 rebounds in 24 minutes of play.

A long road

The coach from Badalona has a long history in the American league and even worked, from time to time, He worked as an assistant to Sergio Scariolo in the Spanish team at the Eurobasket 2017, in Turkey. His career began in the Joventut academyuntil in 2006 he joined the company. to the Impact Basketball Academy, a company dedicated to the development of NBA players.

The American league was joined by Sacramento Kings. in the 2009-2010 season, to work alongside Mike Brown in the Cleveland Cavaliers, where he came to be. He came to coincide with LeBron James and where he practiced. He became the franchise development coach as part of the squad that achieved success. won the 2016 championship ring.

For Cleveland also assumed responsibility. He was the head coach of the subsidiary team, in the G League, the Canton Charge, between 2014-16, when he managed to win the title. He posted a record of 62 wins and 38 losses.

The Nuggets gave him his first job as an assistant coach to Michael Malone in the summer of 2016. He spent six seasons in Denver and his next step was to rejoin his career with that of Mike Brown,to become his assistant coach at the Sacramento Kings this past summer.

It was a risky decision because in Denver he was part of one of the best teams in the Western Conference, contending for the ring in these two ús. last seasons. And the move to Sacramento was almost a leap in the dark, even if on a personal level it was an opportunity to take on more responsibility as a senior helper. And for now, the bet couldn't be more accurate.

The Kings have gone on a losing streak of 16 years without playing in the play-offs, one of the worst of all professional teams in the four major American leagues. But this season, with the direction of Mike Brown and the work of Jordi Fernández, they have become one of the surprises of the championship and occupy seventh place in the West, in the 'playoffs' zone with a balance positive of 15 wins and 12 losses.