As if the NBA offseason hasn’t been crazy enough we are now all witnesses to an actual career resurrection. I am not referring to Steve Nash or Jason Kidd, both who have chosen to change their careers dramatically in moves unpredicted (Nash to Lakers and Kidd to Knicks). When I say resurrection I mean it in the fullest sense; retirement to court time.
Nearly 9 months ago Brandon Roy was forced to leave the game due to a degenerative knee condition. Tragically, the man once nicknamed ‘The Natural’ had to leave behind his passion for reasons far from voluntary. But here we are in early July, without a year having passed seeing the return of a truly admired and talented star. As reported by Jason Quick, senior writer for the Oregonian, Brandon Roy has chosen to sign with the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Six years ago the Minnesota Timberwolves traded Roy to the Blazers eventually to secure the rights of Randy Foye. At the time the Timberwolves were wary of Roy’s physical condition but for the years following it appeared they had just made an incredible mistake- like many draft choices in their history. However, the Timberwolves may have been onto something as NBA fans around the world witnessed one of the most notable players in the league crumble to his demise due to a fragile body.
While a dramatic lead-in, here is where we stand now- Brandon Roy is a now on the Minnesota Timberwolves roster. How should we feel about this? I can tell you personally, I’m worried. More worried than excited for the team. A man’s future is on the line and I don’t mean financially. As fans, we can easily become wrapped up in the constant fluctuation of the sport, the business side of basketball or simply the greater story lines that make the NBA so special. Every once in a while though we are forced to see a situation for what it is, another man’s well being. Another Blazer comes to mind as soon as I completed that sentence- Greg Oden. For all the speculation that surrounded him and the overall future of the Blazers we look at him now as a player disallowed from meeting his potential. Simply put, it’s sad. Injuries are the most depressing aspect of athletics and when they apply to men of sound character it’s even more saddening. I say with my heart more as a person than a fan- I hope Brandon Roy is truly healthy, he is too good of a player and an ambassador of the sport to endure more physical pain.
Did that take all of the positive energy out of the room? I apologize but I felt some greater principles needed to be noted. Now let me shed some optimism on the situation. First off, Brandon Roy before his injury was a STUD- here’s the line to pay attention to: Career #’s (35.6 min per game 19.0 PPG, 46 FG%, 35 3p%.) Not really surprising this guy was a certified All-Star. Not to mention this guy was a class act. As Ben Golliver, writer for Blazer’s Edge wrote at the time of his injury, “Roy poured his every ounce into his game and into his status as a role model, and he gave writers damn near every emotion – good and bad — to reflect upon.” With that quote in mind, please read this article if you haven’t already: http://tinyurl.com/blrye6w. Brandon Roy was not only a consummate professional but a true talent to behold. If he has a shred of that drive left, Minnesota just got a hell of a deal- currently at 10.4 million/2 years per David Alridge, NBA.com.
Keep in mind Roy is making a comeback after undergoing platelet rich plasma therapy procedure, you know the same that that guy Kobe Bryant had (38.5 MPG in 2011-12 season). Miracles can happen in health and you just don’t know if Roy will be a jump shooting, above the rim, buzzer beater one of them.
It is not like Roy has big shoes to fill, Wesley Johnson isn’t exactly stellar. If he can give some of what was shown in his Blazers uniform then Timberwolves lucked out…..big time. It is to be seen whether this guy is a ghost or simply a missing person brought back home. One thing is for sure, Roy’s talent belongs on a court, hopefully he shines in Minny.