Just a few years ago, it seemed that Portland Trail Blazers shooting guard Brandon Roy was on the path to becoming a very special player in the Association. He dwarfed his competition in the voting, when he won the NBA Rookie Of The Year Award, for the 2006-2007 campaign, then went onto playing for the West in the 2008, 2009 and 2010 All-Star Games. Not only did the Blazers star excel on the hardwood, he was a leader on the squad, one of the club’s co-captains along with forward LaMarcus Aldridge. Roy, was also known as one of the true good guys in the Association, in an era when many of his peers are known as overpaid, spoiled brats.
The shooting guard’s body; specifically his knees; could not endure the rigors of an 82-game NBA campaign and he underwent surgery on both his knees leaving him without cartilage in both knees. The pain of trying to perform at the level he had set for himself in the Association, without shock-absorbers in his knees proved to be a battle he could not win and he announced his retirement last December. Fans of the game across the country,were sad to see his once promising career end so soon, forcing him to walk away from the NBA, with talk of what might have been, rather than what he accomplished.
The former All-Star underwent a procedure called Regenokine in Los Angeles back in May; which entailed him going through a ten-day period of doctors extracting tissue from his body, alter it and then put it back into the patient. Roy called his agent Greg Lawrence and told him, the process had reduced the swelling in his knees considerably and he felt healthy enough to give the Association another shot. Tuesday the “Star-Tribune” reported that the 28-year-old former member of the Blazers, was introduced to Minneapolis, on Tuesday, in a press conference officially announcing that Roy would be wearing a Minnesota Timberwolves jersey in the upcoming season.
When the shooting guard was asked how much better he felt after receiving the same treatment that Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant went through, he responded “”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 to get it done. The main reason for doing it was I wanted to play. I wanted to play.”
One major difference between the two players is that Bryant still has cartilage in his knees, so it remains to be seen if the treatment can be as effective for him as for Kobe. Roy does believe that he can once again dominate in the Association and he told reporters, that is what he stressed during his conversation with Timberwolves Team President David Kahn in their initial meeting. Roy said “Yeah, that’s the goal. That’s the goal. That’s the whole reason I’m coming back. I told David when we met. I said, ‘I wouldn’t be coming back if I didn’t think I could reach a high level of basketball.’ You say great, I just call it high level. I want to play at a high level. And, right now, my body is giving me all the signs that I can do that.”
Whether he will once again be able to become an All-Star and a productive member of the Timberwolves remain to be seen; as well as if he can even withstand an NBA season. Many NBA fans will be rooting for him, even if they are not fans of Minnesota.