It looks pretty official, finally: Rudy Fernández will play for Real Madrid this coming basketball season for as long as the NBA (and his current team, the Dallas Mavericks) remain locked out. He is formally under contract with the Mavs until May of 2012, so whenever the lockout ends (if at all), he would be required to go back to the USA to play for the defending NBA champions (not too bad a deal).
After this coming season he would then make the jump back to Spain, because,
"He wants to be Real Madrid's franchise player, and to lead the project of a team who's main goal is to regain supremacy in Spain, and to take another step forward in Europe in search of the much-desired Euroleague title." Source: Marca.com [Sound familiar?]
And apparently his imminent signing has already had a huge impact on Madrid's finances: in the last day, the offices overlooking the Castellana have received more than 1000 calls from excited fans looking to buy season tickets. They've received even more than that, in fact, but they couldn't keep count because their phones literally couldn't support the number of callers.
Now that's what I'm talking about, some genuine excitement during this gloomy time.