Blazer great, Brandon Roy was released by the Minnesota Timberwolves today. The sadness of eventually always swells in the relinquish of prior glory. Before his surgically hampered stint in Minnesota, Roy was the heart and soul of Rip City. Watching him walk away a second time is only softened by the notion that he will be physically able to do so. Brandon Roy defines ‘giving your all’.
Brandon played 5 games in Minnesota before his 7th knee surgery since high school put him on the sideline with a long, uphill road to recovery. That road proved to be too long for the T-Wolves, as the asphalt continued to crack beneath Brandon’s slipping feet. With no team, no time machine, and no cartilage in his knees, this looks like the end for Brandon’s basketball career. At least, on the court.
After another setback in late January, Brandon sat down with Chris Haynes of CSNNW to discuss his future, revealing that if forced to retire he would seek a coaching position:
“Now, I think there’s something in me that I can offer to basketball. There’s a message that I can bring to basketball. I wasn’t the fastest, the highest jumper, but my knowledge of the game helped me be an effective player at a high level,” Roy said. “Coaching at the NBA level is where I see myself. If this season is it for me, I’m not staying away from basketball. I would want to get in as soon as possible.”
While I’ll miss his game-winners, relentless spirit, and seemingly impossible feats, the next chapter of Roy’s life will spell out an extended legacy. We may still get to enjoy the greatest aspect of Roy’s game for decades to come; his leadership. Are there any heads more level than Brandon’s? His soft-spoken demeanor off the court and raw passion on it would combine well with his knowledge of the game to raise him from the ashes in a suit and tie.
No matter where he ends up in life, I will never forget what he gave to the Portland Trail Blazers. He cashed in his physical prime for the respect of the city, the love of the fans, and a hope for Portland’s future. He was exactly what the Blazers needed to heal the hurt of the ‘Jail Blazers’ era. Despite his short-lived splendor, Roy was the most transcendent guard to don the red and black since Clyde ‘the glide’ Drexler, and his time in Portland brought back the same love and excitement that had been missing in between.
Now that the day has come for Roy to move on, we must let him. That sadness of eventuality has become the pain of the present, but Brandon’s unshakeable outlook will have to stem the swelling one more time. Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened, and dog-ear the next chapter of Brandon’s story.