The end of the lockout has been positive news for most players in the NBA. But for Memphis Grizzlies forward Rudy Gay, it means a return to the bullying that has tormented him throughout the first five years of his career.
"All my life I have been bullied for the perceived feminine qualities of my first name, and it has only gotten worse since I started playing professional basketball," said Gay during a small press conference this morning. "I am here today to announce that I will no longer tolerate it."
Gay stated in the press conference that throughout his career he'd been called names like Trudy, Judy, Rhubarb and Rudy Tooty Fresh 'N' Fruity by teammates both to his face and behind his back.
Gay said that the ridicule is particularly merciless when he under-performs and teammates call him Moody Rudy, making snide insinuations that he is menstruating and that that is the cause of his poor performance. He also said that teammates will avoid coming near him in the shower or on the bus for fear of catching "Rudy Cooties."
"Honestly, Rudy isn't even a very effeminate name. I don't know any girl Rudys, except for Rudy Huxtable, I guess, and she's not a real person," said Gay. "What about players with names like NenÃª or Emeka or Shannon? No one's hatin' on them."
Gay's first name is part of a Gay tradition, passed down by his father, Rudy Gay, Sr., as Gays are wont to do when a new Gay is born. Gay has stated that he refuses to go by a nickname in honor of his Gay lineage.
"I was born a Gay and I will die a Gay," said Gay. "I am a proud Gay."
Gay hopes that by speaking out his teammates will treat him with more respect this season. And if they don't?
"Well, that'd be kind of gay," said Gay.