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Brandon Roy: Victory Amidst Retirement

PORTLAND, OR - APRIL 28: Dirk Nowitzki #41 of the Dallas Mavericks hugs Brandon Roy #7 of the Portland Trail Blazers after Game Six of the Western Conference Quartefinals against the Portland Trail Blazers in the 2011 NBA Playsoffs on April 28, 2011 at the Rose garden in Portland, Oregon. The Mavericks won the game 103-96 to win the series and advance. 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 Steve Dykes/Getty Images)
Steve Dykes/Getty Images
Jess Matthew BeltranCorrespondent IIDecember 20, 2011

It’s final. The 27-year-old who is still in his prime, Brandon Roy, just announced his untimely retirement.

It wasn’t how anyone wanted his career to end—not like this, not without a fight…one season, one last stand for a championship. However, Brandon knew his borrowed time was up.

A warrior not only fights, but knows when to stop the fight. He could go down swinging, or he could walk out while he still can—literally.

All his life was all about basketball. All those last-second clutch shots, the playoffs, All-Star appearances and head-to-head matchups with Kobe and other stars in the NBA are now part of a distant memory. Portland will always be his home, and the people in Oregon will always be his family.

However, two torn ACLs and no cartilage on both knees leaves him with no other choice.  

He came into the NBA with no fanfare, no self-proclaiming, no tattoos or outrageous hair styles. He was old school or an old soul that came to the league with just one intention─to be the best.

Now Brandon Roy exits the same way he entered.

Roy plays beyond his age, a cerebral player whose moves are very calculated. He knows when to pass, when to shoot and plays in the clutch. He was always pushing himself to be better.

That is Brandon’s greatest strength that eventually became his weakness. Even with his injury, he pushed himself past the limit. This wasn’t just for stats or his career; this was for the people in Portland, who always believed in him.

After injuring his right knee in April 2010, he was expected to miss at least the first round of the playoffs, but instead played in Game 4 after only eight days of recovery time. Portland won that game with Roy putting his team on his back, despite his ailing knee.

His injured knees were a problem since he was in college, but it never really mattered as long as his team was winning; as long as everybody was happy.

His encore performance came unexpectedly. It was against the then-defending champions Dallas Mavericks, who were leading by a wide margin. Roy scored 18 points in the fourth quarter, including a four-point play that tied the game. With the game tied and with still 49 seconds left in regulation, Brandon scored a bank shot from the middle of the paint.

The crowd went wild as Roy pumped his fist in the air. It was his way of saying goodbye, although nobody thought it was his last game, but Roy subconsciously knew his time was up. His journey had come to an end, but his legacy lives on.

Brandon Roy had to give up his dreams; he had to give up basketball. As he ended his career, he made one big sacrifice─he gave Portland hope amidst Greg Oden’s injury and Lamarcus Aldridge's recent heart surgery. His retirement gave Portland an “amnesty clause” to get Jamal Crawford in return.

Yes, Brandon Roy has just retired with no media hoopla and no circus. He exited the way he started. That’s what old school players do.

Brandon Roy was victorious during his final curtain.

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