Highlight of the Night: Brandon Roy at the Rose Garden

Holly MacKenzieNBA Lead BloggerMarch 21, 2012

PORTLAND, OR - APRIL 23:  Brandon Roy #7 of the Portland Trail Blazers shoots Shawn Marion #0 of the Dallas Mavericks in Game Four of the Western Conference Quarterfinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs on April 23, 2011 at the Rose Garden in Portland, Oregon. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

Oh, boy.

Today's highlight isn't a dunk or game-winning buzzer-beater. It's not a player doing something crazy. It isn't something dramatic or upsetting. It's simply a man with his wife watching the game that he loves. It's a man waving to the hometown crowd and giving them something to be grateful for in a season that's been trying and tough.

Last night, Brandon Roy returned to the Rose Garden.

Emerging through one of the tunnels to take a courtside seat, dressed down in a simple T-shirt, Roy smiled, pointed to a camera he knew was fixed on him and then waved.

That wave meant so much more than just a hello.

It was a wave of gratitude that brought a wave of happiness to the 19,000 in attendance. It was a huge moment, both for Roy and for the Portland Trail Blazers fans who watched him grow up, from rookie to legit NBAer to superstar status, all on their home floor, playing for their team. It was Roy's return to the Garden, and as bittersweet as it was, it was beautiful. It was a reminder that for Roy, the Rose Garden will always be home.

At the arena for Jamal Crawford's birthday, Roy came to celebrate the game of the basketball brother he had been robbed of the opportunity to play with in Portland.

There's a new coach on the sideline now, the team has changed drastically since Roy announced his retirement before the start of the season and things have been rough all around for the franchise this year. In swapping up coaches, finally letting go of Greg Oden and shipping out Gerald Wallace, it looks as though the Blazers want to rid themselves of the past and move forward.

Seeing the smile on Roy's face, the sweet appreciation for the arena filled with people showing him love, it looked as though this was a step forward for him as well.