Brandon Roy and the Portland Trail Blazers: Don't Call It a Comeback

Eric RingeringContributor IIIMarch 5, 2012

Brandon Roy thinking about a return to the hardwood
Brandon Roy thinking about a return to the hardwoodSteve Dykes/Getty Images

Last week the Twitterverse was abuzz with news about the Portland Trail Blazers.  No, Greg Oden is not having another knee surgery.  (But don't be surprised if and when it happens again.) Apparently, Brandon Roy wants to make a return to the NBA.

“It’s hard being away from the game.  Don’t be surprised if you see Brandon Roy make his way back to the court," per Eurobasket.

I'm personally not very surprised.  In fact, I predicted this would happen when I heard of his original retirement.

At the age of 27, just when he was supposed to be entering his prime, the most important thing in his life—short of his family—was taken away from him.  Roy's a competitor.  He wasn't going to go down without a fight.

Unfortunately, I don't see this being a happy ending for the former Rookie of the Year.

He's had at least six knee surgeries since 2000, and he has no cartilage left in either of those knees (at least that's what reports say).  No cartilage means there's no shock absorber and bones/ligaments are just rubbing against each other.

That can't be good for running, jumping, cutting, changing direction, playing defense—all things required to you know, play basketball.

This is what people were saying about Roy just one year ago

This is what Roy, himself said just two and a half months ago.

Does missing half a basketball season really make your knees stronger?  Has he found a doctor who knows how to regenerate cartilage?  Because the last time I checked, that was still not possible.


I don't think his knees have what it takes.  To be honest, I don't know if he can even walk without a limp.  And if he does go through with his comeback, I'd be surprised to see him be able to walk pain-free in two years.

One of the few things Roy has going for him is that at half-capacity (which is probably a best case scenario right now), he is still better than about 30 percent of the NBA.  So he will probably get picked up by some team if he does indeed come out of his retirement.

However, I can't see Roy being very effective.  I don't think he can move very well which means he cannot defend (never one of his strong points to begin with), so opposing teams will basically be playing five on four at their end of the court.  Thus, whatever skill he brings to the table on offense is nearly negated by the fact that he can't play defense.

If Roy does come back to the NBA, I can't see him being much more than a glorified bench player at this point in his career.  He had a tough time dealing with that the first time around.  Will things be different if he comes back?  I sincerely doubt it.