One of the greatest intangibles a human being can possess is resiliency. For the select few that are able to overcome the odds, that quality can define their legacy as an athlete.
This news came on the heels of a legendary performance in a first-round matchup with the Dallas Mavericks in which Roy led the Portland Trail Blazers to a 23-point comeback victory—a comeback that ended with Roy capping off a stretch of 21 points in just over 12 minutes.
After being sidelined for a full year, the former Washington Huskies star decided that he was done playing the role of a spectator. He began working out for NBA franchises and eventually found himself on the receiving end of a second opportunity.
On July 6, 2012, Roy agreed to join the Minnesota Timberwolves. Just five days later, the deal became official and his long road to recovery had finally paid off.
As fate would have it, Roy is already drawing rave reviews over his play in preparation for the upcoming season.
According to the Timberwolves' official PR Twitter feed, Indiana Pacers head coach Frank Vogel believes that Roy has looked phenomenal. In fact, Vogel went as far as to say that Roy looks like the same player he did before his career was derailed by knee injuries.
Pacers hc Vogel last night on if it looked like the B. Roy of old: "Yeah, it sure did. It didn’t look like he was limited at all." #Twolves— Timberwolves PR (@Twolves_PR) October 11, 2012
This quote came after Roy dropped in 13 points on 5-of-9 shooting during a preseason game against Vogel's Pacers. He played a total of 24 minutes and appeared to have great rise on his jump shot, as well as the proper balance while slashing.
There is still a lot of basketball left to be played, but it appears as if the Roy of old has returned. In case you haven't already, it is time you start believing in the Timberwolves' new perimeter weapon.
Taking the Proper Precautions
What appears to be forgotten about Roy's early retirement is that it gave him a full year to rest and recover.
There is no denying how unstable his knees were in 2011, but with a full year to properly rehab without the grind of an NBA schedule, Roy took the necessary precautions to reach a point of full recovery.
Not having the pressure of the media or an NBA fanbase rushing his return certainly helps, as well.
Always an Efficient Scorer
Who is the Brandon Roy of old? For those unfamiliar, the greatest way to define his play is to evaluate his career from 2007 to 2010—the years in which Roy made three consecutive All-Star Game appearances.
Over that span, Roy averaged 21.1 points, 5.2 assists, 4.6 rebounds and 1.1 steals per game and shot 47 percent shooting from the floor.
His complete slash line sat at .469/.349/.789. In other words, Roy was always as efficient as he was well-rounded.
For that reason, it is rather nonsensical to assume that the smooth-shooting wingman will struggle in Minnesota. He has always had beautiful form on his jump shot and will continue to make opponents suffer from the perimeter.
Kevin Love just found his new favorite teammate.
No Longer the Focus
Speaking of Love, the fact that he is in Minnesota certainly makes Roy's life a whole lot easier.
While a member of the Portland Trail Blazers, Roy was the main focus of every defense he faced. Although LaMarcus Aldridge would later emerge into one of the best power forwards in all of basketball, Roy spent the first four years of his career facing double-teams and constant defensive pressure.
With Minnesota, however, Roy will be no more than a secondary priority for opposing defenses. There is no chance that a team will allow Love to roam freely, as he has established himself as the best offensive big man in the game.
The fact that he is lethal from three and a monster on the glass only further strengthens Roy's chances at scoring on cuts and open jump shots.
If We Can Believe in D-Rose, Why Not B-Roy?
If we can all get behind Rose on his road to recovery, why can't we love, admire and embrace Roy? After all, the likelihood that either makes it back to their previous form will require relentless optimism and an unbelievable work ethic.
With both players hoping to return to All-Star form, one can only hope to see their dreams come to fruition. Fortunately, both Roy and Rose have displayed a never-say-die attitude and look to be on the right track.
Let's support them both and embrace the two greatest stories the NBA has to offer. Otherwise, we might miss out on the stuff of legends.