Brandon Roy: reappearance Kid

Brandon Roy: reappearance Kid

One of the greatest things about sports is an inspirational story. clearly, people watch sports for the actual sporting events themselves. But, there is also another magical part of the sporting world that can relate to anyone, no matter what their level of sports knowledge or actual interest is. The stories that develop with players and teams we love to love, and just as much, love to hate. These stories are the things that make names who wouldn’t be so well known, such as Tim Tebow and Jeremy Lin last year, valid topics of discussion in our daily lives. Seriously, think back to the last year in sports. You could not turn on ESPN or go to any sports website without seeing some mention of “Tebowing” or “Linsanity”. It is moments like this that make the world of sports such an incredible world to be a part of.

Another moment may be on the horizon for us during the upcoming NBA season. After the sudden retirement of Brandon Roy before last year’s NBA season, he will be lacing the sneakers back up to hit the hardwood once again during the upcoming season.

One of the absolute worst things that can happen to an athlete is injury. When you’re playing sports, no matter what regulations are set in place, injuries are an unavoidable component. Some injuries come and go, but others can linger and haunt an athlete for an complete career. It appeared that Roy was going to become another helpless victim on the long list of great athletes who’s possible and dreams would be taken away. When dealing with injuries, one of the most cringe worthy phrases to hear is “career ending.” This is the exact phrase we heard just over a year ago when it related to Brandon Roy. The doctors went as far as to say Roy “can’t do this” and that he “might end up not walking.” All scary thoughts for any person to hear, especially for a 27 year old. Roy went by a series of knee problems throughout his career. Without any cartilage in his knees, it is hard to believe Roy will already be making a reappearance.

Brandon Roy first entered the league in the 2006 NBA Draft. Roy was fresh off his senior season with the Washington Huskies, where he rule his team to a Sweet Sixteen turn up. Besides averaging 20 points per game, Roy was bestowed with the award of Pac-10 player of the year. Going in to the draft, Roy was known for his slashing ability and great shooting. He was considered by many to be a “sure thing” in the NBA, and considered by many to be the top prospect in the draft class. With the sixth pick in the 2006 NBA Draft (My inner David Stern just came out.), the Timberwolves chosen Brandon Roy. The Timberwolves would not be the destination for Roy for very long, as he was traded to Portland. The Blazers draft night in 2006 may have taken top honors for the night, not only did they add Roy to the team, but they also additional LaMarcus Aldridge to the list.

I don’t think there is any doubt that Brandon Roy not only lived up to the hype, but he far surpassed it. Roy went on to average 17 points per game, along with 4 assists and 4 rebounds. These numbers were not only good enough for a place on the rookie squad of the annual Rookie/Sophomore game during All-Star weekend, they were also good enough for Roy to earn the year’s NBA Rookie of the Year award. Although Roy had fantastic numbers throughout the season, it wasn’t a season without injury. Roy missed 20 games early on with a left heel injury.

The next season was another excellent season for Roy. Some players have a sophomore slump, but not Brandon Roy. It was more of a “sophomore skyrocket.” The reason this term is fitting is because it seemed the possibilities were endless for the young player. In the past season, he was a member of the Rookie team during All-Star Weekend. This season, he returned to play for the sophomore team during the Rookie/Sophomore game. This wouldn’t be all for Roy during the desired weekend, as he was also chosen as an All-Star save for the Western Conference. For only his second season in the league, it was a great honor for Roy to be chosen by the coaches in the NBA to be apart of the Western All-Star team. Besides these accolades, Roy increased his points per game to 19 points, paired with a slight increase in the rebounds and assists categories in addition.

The breakout season of Brandon Roy was bestowed upon us in the 2008-09 season. In just his third season in the NBA, Roy increased his points per game once again from 19 points, to nearly 23 points a game. The 22.6 points per game stat was enough to make Roy a top ten scorer in the NBA, coming in at number ten. An excellent comparison to show how great of a scorer Roy had become from the past season to this one can be showcased by his 30+ points games. In the past season, Roy only had two 30+ points games. In this season, Roy had ELEVEN of them. Not to mention, Roy delivered a 52 point game against the Phoenix Suns. Besides the stats, he also kept adding more and more accomplishments to his record. At season’s end, Roy was named to the All-NBA Second Team. He was also 9th in MVP voting for the season. Impressive stats and accomplishments for a third year player in the league.

Although Roy was on the rise in the 08-09 season, it was also the awakening of his knee problems. At the beginning of this season, Roy underwent a 20 minute surgery to remove a piece of cartilage from his knee that was causing irritation. The doctor described the knee problems with, “He’s just got a basketball player’s knee.” This was not the first time that Roy had underwent surgery, though. In 2001, surgery was performed on his left knee while he was in high school. Just three years later in 2004, Roy had another knee surgery on his other knee during his Junior season at Washington. After the surgery in 2008, it was hopeful that Roy would be perfectly fine and go on to be the confront of the Portland Trail Blazers for years to come. Sadly, it was just wishful thinking.

Before the 2009-10 season began, Roy was signed to a five-year contract extension with the Portland Trail Blazers. Speaking money, Roy was only earning $4 million dollars in the last year of his rookie contract. In the first year of his newly extended contract, Roy would be making $14 million dollars. A pretty substantial jump financially for a 25 year old. Roy had an average of 21 points per game and was showing no signs of slowing down. But, in April just before the playoffs, Roy had to have surgery once again on his right knee. The injury was expected to cause him to miss the complete first round of the playoffs, but Roy returned 8 days later to play in game four of the Blazers’ first round series against the Phoenix Suns. Roy didn’t have much scoring input in the last 3 games of the series he played, scoring just 10, 5, and 14 points respectively. The Blazers’ were deleted from the postseason in six games.

The 2010-11 season began, and little did anyone know that it was soon to be the last season before Roy’s retirement. In January of 2011, Brandon Roy had to undergo another knee surgery. This time, the surgery was performed on both knees. During this season, Roy only ended up playing in 47 games and averaged 12 points per game. 12 points per game was definitely a emotional decline in scoring production for Roy, and it was obvious that the knee problems were becoming an issue for him. The 2011 postseason was a rough one for Roy. He played limited minutes in the first round series against the Dallas Mavericks, and already had to fight off tears. Roy said himself “There was a point in the first half, and I was thinking ‘You better not cry.’ I average, serious. I average, there was a moment where I felt really sorry for myself. Then I was like, nah, you can’t be sorry for yourself. I’m a grown man, but there was a moment there that I felt sorry for myself. Especially when I think I can nevertheless help.”

All of the knee injuries culminated to the unfathomable. The retirement of Brandon Roy just after five seasons in the NBA. Roy had the following to say after announcing his retirement.

“This is a very difficult and painful day. I love the game, I love the Portland Trail Blazers and I love our fans, but after consulting with my doctors, I will seek a determination that I’ve suffered a career ending injury, pursuant to the rules of the collective bargaining agreement.

“My family and health are most important to me and in the end this decision was about them and my quality of life. I want to thank Paul Allen, Larry Miller, Coach McMillan, the complete Trail Blazers organization and our fans for all of their love and sustain during my time in Portland. It was a great ride.”

Fast forward to present day, and Brandon Roy will be making his return to the NBA.

“After a few months of sitting out, I decided, ‘Hey, I don’t want to stop playing basketball,’ ” Roy said Tuesday at a news conference at Target Center after signing a two-year, $10.4 million contract. “I wanted to continue going forward. It was never a situation where I said, ‘I’m done forever.’ It’s just more of a pause.”

The question I’m sure many people are asking is, what is going to allow Brandon Roy to return? He has had six different knee surgeries throughout his basketball career. Roy had a procedure performed by the name of platelet-high plasma therapy. While it is medically unproven, it is a procedure that Kobe Bryant has had performed in the past. A simple explanation of platelet-high plasma therapy is the injection of your own blood into the body to help the joints.

“I’m not saying I’m Kobe Bryant, but my body felt really good. I’ve been working out ever since, and there hasn’t been any swelling. I’m excited I got it done,” Roy said.

The season is only weeks away. One of the things I will be watching the most is the play and production of Brandon Roy. Will he be back to his old ways, scoring 20 points a game? Or, will the knee problems be too much for him? The inspirational story is something that sports will always have. Hopefully, the Brandon Roy return will become one. A man who has experienced multiple knee surgeries returning to the NBA in top-notch form, what could be better than that? It will seem kind of like a homecoming for Timberwolves fans, as Roy was originally drafted by the team. It will also be a homecoming for Roy, though. A homecoming to the basketball court, and that could be the best homecoming of all.

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