On December 3, 1989, Fernando Martin, despite being injured, he headed to the Palace of Sports of the Community of Madrid, to see a match that would dispute his team, Real Madrid, with the CAI Zaragoza. At the entrance of the M-30, around three-twenty in the afternoon, an accident with the car driving cost him his life at 27 years of age.
Martin was one of those pioneers athletes who are responsible for breaking down barriers, becoming the first Spanish player and second in Europe (after the Bulgarian Georgi Glouchkov) to play in the NBA, wearing the shirt of the Portland Trail Blazers. Although his year in the United States was discreet, FM marked the path of the Spanish players who shine in thirty years after the showpiece of world basketball.
He returned to Madrid in 1987, the expectation in Spain with his return was very great, was the “boom” of the ACB with unforgettable clashes between Real Madrid and Barcelona, where all eyes on Fernando Martin and Audie Norris.
A year later, he joined Real Madrid from the Balkans, Drazen Petrovic. Both stars, strong – willed, did not have a good relationship, and despite winning Cup and Cup Winners Cup, were unable to Barcelona in the league. Petrovic repeated the trip he had made a few years before Martin and moved to Portland, whims of fate, the Croatian also lost his life in a traffic accident in 1993.
The death of Fernando Martin was not only a blow for basketball, caused consternation throughout the country as the basketball player also was an icon of the Spanish society of the time.
In 2009, Rudy Fernandez who was embarked on his American adventure also in Portland and participating in the slam-dunk contest that year, wanted to honor him wearing his shirt in the first mate, claiming there where he could not succeed, the name of Fernando Martin.