The Portland Trail Blazers must have had a few too many black cats cross in front of their team bus this year since they are now facing another potential career ending injury. This time it’s Brandon Roy, who has been hampered by knee and hamstring injuries the past two seasons.
The news comes from a pretty reliable source in The Oregonian’s John Canzano, who spoke with a surgeon that says Roy has one or two years left in the league.
Sure, Roy’s numbers are definitely down since he’s played just 23 games, shot under 40 percent, and is averaging almost five fewer points this season (16.6 PPG), but isn’t this statement taking things a bit too far? Perhaps not when you take a closer look at the situation since Roy is already looking a bit less explosive this season.
In regards to his talk with the surgeon, Canzano wrote, “The consulting surgeon whispers that he believes the best-case strategy for handling Roy is this: A) Limit Roy’s practice reps to almost nothing; B) Play him off the bench in 65 to 75 or so games a season, choosing rest in key spots; C) Pray. Surgeon suspects the Blazers might get one to two years out of Roy employing this strategy.”
This is definitely sad news for a city that has already given up on center Greg Oden ever playing a full season. Over his first three seasons, Oden suited up for a total of 82 games; seeing as how he’s not going to play in the 2010-2011 season, that’s 82 games over four seasons. Not exactly what they were hoping for from the 2007 No. 1 overall pick.
But the Roy news is even more disheartening because at least Blazers fans were able to get a solid glimpse of his talent. Roy was the 2007 Rookie of the Year, a three-time NBA All-Star, and an All-NBA Second Team member in 2009. Beyond this, he was considered the team’s next franchise player….a guy you could build an entire team around.
Many even compared Roy to Clyde Drexler, who starred for the Blazers at shooting guard throughout the '90s, and had some memorable battles with Michael Jordon. These days, people are more likely to compare Roy to Penny Hardaway, a talented player who also had his career derailed by injuries. Barring a miracle, it seems like the latter comparison could be more accurate.