The Portland Trail Blazers have a laminated sign that reads "We don't lose to Spanish players" on display in their locker room at Fedex Forum, where they play the Memphis Grizzlies in the first round of the Western Conference.
The sign, which was first reported by The Oregonian, was not meant to be public, a spokesman told ESPN. It was part of a larger card that features "motivational" sayings meant to inspire the number four seed team to playoff victory, such as "We are Rip City," "We will be tougher," and "Win the dog fight."
The Oregonian reported on Sunday:
The middle part is what has to alarm anyone following this matchup closely.
Because that middle section included such oddities as, "We don't lose to Spanish players," and "Nobody can beat us eight times in one year."
Grizzly center Marc Gasol, who is from Barcelona, told the Oregonian on Monday, "I don't know where it comes from and I don't know what it means. 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."
Trail Blazers' head coach Terry Stotts brushed it off after losing Game 1 to the Grizzlies, 100-86.
"First of all, that wasn't the only thing that was on that [card]," Stotts said. "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."
But hey, let's also not forget that one time Spain's national basketball team did this leading up to the Olympics in China.
The Trail Blazers and the Grizzlies match up again for Game 2 on Wednesday.