Kobe Bryant doesn’t openly hail praise to players in the league. Those players have to earn the respect from one of the greatest assassins of all-time.
Early in his career, Brandon Roy was one the guys that Bryant commended greatly.
“Roy 365 days, seven days a week. Roy has no weaknesses in his game.” – Kobe said when asked who the toughest player to defend in the Western Conference was.
Brandon Roy wasted no time dismantling the league with his full package of offensive moves. If you played him tight, he would drive to the rim. If you laid off, he would pull up in your grill.
He had it all.
When he put on the TrailBlazers jersey in 2006, they instantly got better and he won Rookie of the Year. To put it in perspective, Roy was so talented that Portland passed up on drafting Kevin Durant in the 2007 NBA Draft and took Greg Oden instead. (We all know how that worked out.)
In the 2008-09, Roy was putting up godly numbers:
Roy hit 24 shots that either tied or won the game with 35 seconds or less= Ice Cold.
He led Portland to a 54-28 record and their first playoff appearance in 7 seasons. As a second year stud, he finished 9th in MVP voting.
In the next season, he started right where he left off. His efficiency was remarkable. He scored 32 points against Kobe’s Lakers off of….11 shots. Keep in mind this was just his fourth season in the league.
So, why did an offensive juggernaut like Roy only last seven seasons in the NBA?
His knees were done playing basketball.
After several mensicus tears, which has led to him having no meniscus in either knee, he no longer looks like the same player. He didn’t have the same ability to cut and slice through the defense. Players he used to fry were now able to keep up.
Roy went for a comeback in 2012, but it didn’t last. He officially retired from the association saying:
“Any time you walk away from the game, you have ‘what-ifs’. I feel like I was able to answer those questions last year by going out there and giving it a try.”
Although Roy stopped playing, he has not stopped impacting the game of basketball.
In 2016, he was hired as the head coach of Nathan Hale’s high school basketball team.
There, he coached the #1 recruit in the nation, Michael Porter Jr., and led the Seattle-based high school to a perfect 29-0 record in his first season. Roy and Nathan Hale finished off the year with the a state title and Roy was named Naismith National Coach of the Year.
Over this past weekend, news broke that Roy was a victim of a random act of violence. While visiting his grandmother’s house in Southern California, he was shot in the leg. His wound came because he was trying to protect the younger people that were also at the home. He was treated and is now recovering back home in Washington.
I am a strong believer in things happening for a reason. As unbelievable a player Roy was, his knees weren’t to sustain his prowess. His path through basketball has led him to helping the youth succeed their highest potential. As a coach and a man, Roy is someone that young people should look up to. Brandon Roy, the player was spectacular and Brandon Roy, the mentor is just as great.
Brandon Roy is not done with basketball yet.