Brandon Roy: Counting Down His Top 10 Moments with the Portland Trail Blazers
On Sunday night, news broke that Roy will undergo his seventh knee injury of his career and will miss his much-anticipated return to the Rose Garden on Friday when the Minnesota Timberwolves pay a visit (via Jason Quick of The Oregonian).
The surgery could likely end Roy's career in his comeback attempt following retirement after the 2010-11 season with Portland.
The three-time All-Star and former Rookie of the Year played five games for Minnesota, averaging 5.8 points, 4.6 assists and 2.8 rebounds—numbers very un-Roy-like compared to his prime.
It's a sad reminder that athletes' bodies will tell them when it's time to hang it up.
For Roy, it came way too early.
Despite his stint with the Timberwolves, he will forever be a legend among Blazers fans who got to watch him for his five seasons.
Let's reminisce and count down his top 10 moments in Portland.
10: Roy Beats Washington at the Buzzer
March 19, 2010: Trail Blazers 76, Washington Wizards 74
Brandon Roy's stat-line was the opposite of amazing: Fourteen points off 4-of-18 shooting with just two rebounds and one assist.
At one point he missed 14 consecutive shots, but his last shot was the one that counted the most.
Roy nailed the leaning jumper with 0.9 seconds to go, to improve the Blazers' record to 42-28.
"I was just laughing like, 'Finally, I made a shot,"' Roy said via the Associated Press. "And it was the one that helped us win an important game for us."
It proved to be just one of many buzzer-beaters for Roy during his career.
9: Roy Shines in First All-Star Game Appearance
February 17, 2008: NBA All-Star Game
Roy's first All-Star game appearance was a memorable one.
He played the most minutes on the West squad, recording 18 points, nine rebounds and five assists in a 134-128 loss to the East.
The game was further proof that Roy belonged among the game's top stars.
"I just wanted to soak it all in," Roy told Adam Hirshfield of NBA.com. "I wanted to look around, I wanted to see the fans, I wanted to see the celebrities and just try to enjoy it. I just wanted to score once. I just wanted to run up and down the court and have fun."
8: Roy Ends Fateful Night with Another Game-Winner
December 5, 2009: Blazers 90, Houston Rockets 89
In a bizarre night that was known for another gruesome knee injury to former No. 1 pick Greg Oden, Roy put the Blazers on his shoulders once again.
Without Oden, Nicolas Batum, Travis Outlaw and Rudy Fernandez, Roy came through with a driving, leaning layup with three seconds left for the game-winner.
Head coach Nate McMillan was also injured with a ruptured Achilles after he had to insert himself into practice with not enough bodies to go five on five.
"Weird," Roy said to Jason Quick of The Oregonian, "I've never been a part of anything like this. I mean, we got our coach limping around, players going out...this is just weird."
It may have been weird, but it ended like many games with Roy having the ball and the game on the line.
7: Roy Posterizes Cheikh Samb of the Clippers
January 26, 2009: Blazers 113, L.A. Clippers 88
This highlight was definitely SportsCenter worthy.
Roy, who had been known for having some sneaky elevation, soared over the Clippers' Cheikh Samb and slammed a vicious dunk that had the bench and owner Paul Allen jumping out of their seats.
As described by Jason Quick of The Oregonian:
Roy soon silenced everyone, finishing a drive with a thunderous jam in the face of 7-foot-1 center Cheikh Samb. It was so impressive and forceful that Blazers owner Paul Allen couldn't control his arms and legs from his courtside seat.
6: Roy Channels His Inner MJ with a Layup Against Chris Bosh
December 19, 2007: Blazers 101, Toronto Raptors 96
As the defending two-time Western Conference Player of the Week, Roy entered the game feeling ill due to the flu.
However, that didn't stop Roy from producing one of the most memorable highlights of his career.
First came the crossover on Anthony Parker.
Then he quickly went right past Kris Humphries.
To cap it off, he elevated for a layup and avoided Chris Bosh by switching the ball in his hands in mid-air.
It was Michael Jordan-esque in a way, from Jordan's highlight during the 1991 NBA Finals against the Los Angeles Lakers.
5: Roy Does It All in Comeback over Hawks
January 27, 2008: Blazers 94, Hawks 93
It was definitely one of those games that you had to see to believe it.
Roy, who was again battling a fever, did it all—offensively and defensively.
Roy finished with 24 points, including eight in the final two minutes, 47 seconds of the game. He did it defensively with a huge block on Josh Smith, and he also forced Joe Johnson into an air ball with 30 seconds remaining.
It was an absolutely stunning effort.
The Blazers battled back from 19 points down to win by one.
"It was shock. Relief. How did we do it? Where did it come from?" Head coach Nate McMillan told Jason Quick of The Oregonian. "It was just unbelievable. An unbelievable performance."
Unbelievable and legendary.
4: Roy's Presence Alone Fuels Playoff Win over Phoenix
April 24, 2010: Blazers 96, Phoenix 87 (Game 4 of 2010 NBA Playoffs)
This time, all Roy had to do was stand up from his seat on the bench.
Eight days after knee surgery, Roy was back on the court in Game 4 of the first-round of the NBA Playoffs. Portland was down 2-1 in the series and faced an early 17-10 deficit.
Once Roy stood up, the Blazers went on an 8-0 run as he sat at the scorer's table waiting to get in. The Rocky music blared over the Rose Garden sound system as he entered the game.
He scored 10 points in 27 minutes to help Portland even the series, 2-2.
"Had to do it," Roy told Jason Quick of The Oregonian about coming back so soon after knee surgery.
Added McMillan, "I just got chills when he got up and the crowd saw he was going up to the scorer's table. I know our players fed off that, the emotions and energy in the building of having him back."
3: Roy Goes for Career-High 52 on National TV
December 18, 2008: Blazers 124, Phoenix Suns 119
It was as efficient of a 52-point game as one could imagine.
Roy went off for 52 points—the second-most points in a single game in franchise history. He went 14-of-27 from the field and 19-of-21 from the free-throw line.
With TNT commentators Marv Albert, Mike Fratello and Reggie Miller on hand, Roy dazzled with a variety of shots and could not be stopped.
"I think this is by far the best offensive game I've had," Roy told the Associated Press via ESPN.com. "I can't say the basket was big, but my confidence was huge tonight. I just felt like every shot I took was going to go in."
"He's an All-Star, and he took the game over," former Sun Matt Barnes told Jason Quick of The Oregonian that night. "We couldn't stop him tonight. My hand was in his face on a lot of those—he just didn't miss."
2: Roy Turns from Hero to Goat to Hero vs. Houston
November 6, 2008: Blazers 101, Houston Rockets 99
No wider range of emotions were felt in a matter of seconds than in this one.
Roy first hit a 21-foot jumper with 1.9 seconds left in the overtime, to give the Blazers a 98-96 lead.
On the Rockets' next possession, Roy fouled Yao Ming as part of a three-point play to give Houston a 99-98 lead.
Then it happened:
With 0.9 seconds left, Roy took the inbounds pass from Steve Blake, elevated from 30 feet and swished the three-pointer to send the Rose Garden into a frenzy.
"Wow. Unbelievable shot," Roy told Jason Quick of The Oregonian. "I can't say I called it. It was a blessing from above."
Added McMillan, "The look Brandon had on his face, Blake had to give it to him. He wanted the ball. You could see he was determined."
The clip featuring Blazers' radio announcer Brian Wheeler's call is also one of the greatest in franchise history.
1: Roy Has One Final Bow with Game 4 Comeback over Dallas
April 23, 2011: Blazers 84, Dallas Mavericks 82 (Game 4 of 2011 NBA Playoffs)
Was there ever any doubt about No. 1?
After being relegated to a reserve role, and seeing his career with the Blazers winding down due to injuries, Roy gave the Blazer faithful one last game to remember.
Portland trailed by as many as 23 points in the second half and looked to be quickly eliminated by Dallas.
Then came Roy.
Channeling his past, Roy scored 18 of his 24 points in the fourth quarter in one of the biggest comebacks in NBA playoff history.
He nailed the game-winner off the backboard over Shawn Marion, and Jason Terry's miss at the buzzer helped Portland even the series, 2-2.
Roy was mobbed by his teammates afterward and said he wasn't sure if he was ever going to do something like that again in the post-game interview on TNT.
"It was just an unbelievable game," Roy told Joe Freeman of The Oregonian. "To come back, with everything I've been through this season, it just all kind of came into that moment right there on the court with guys grabbing me and just cheering me on. It was real special."
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