Jun 20

Brandon Roy: ‘That Doesn’t Mean I Have To Quit Because I’m Not Gonna Be The Old Brandon Roy’

By sarahhecht Posted in: BrandonRoy
It’s not easy to overcome injury. Worse when that injury threatens your entire career. Everything you’ve dreamed of, every thing you’ve worked for and everything you’ve always longed to do all teetering on the edge.

The gut-wrenching feeling you get thinking about the devastation doesn’t begin to compare to the all-engulfing abyss Trail Blazers superstar Brandon Roy faced during the 2010-2011 season. Knees swelling and surgery to come, Roy feared for the worst. He feared for the end.

Now, six-months after successful treatment and a triumphant return—leading a playoff comeback of epic proportions to be exact—it’s easier for the three-time All-Star to reflect on the season not as a year riddled with doubt and pain, but a year of growth and maturation.

“I got through it,” Roy said. “There was a point where I didn’t know if I would play during the season. I think on the outside looking in so many people wanted so much, and me, I was happy to be playing and being on the court. That was a huge plus for me so I look at the season, I’m a little more positive about it than maybe others.”

With basketball off the menu for a few months, and the distance from the season lengthening every day, Roy has been using the downtime to rest and rehabilitate.

“I’ve been taking it pretty easy,” Roy said of the beginning of his summer hiatus. “I haven’t played any basketball, but that’s normal. I don’t really play until about July. Just doing small things and mainly just relaxing.”

Relaxing and mentally preparing.

There’s change on the horizon and Roy acknowledges it isn’t going to be easy. With thoughts of returning to the “Brandon Roy of old” in the rearview mirror, it’s time to focus on the future.

The future is bright for Roy. Oozing with talent enough to reinvigorate an entire franchise, Roy knows it’s not about being his old self. Instead it’s the time to do some soul searching. Time to test his body in different ways. Time to develop new strengths and discard old moves that aren’t successful with his new body. It’s time to adapt.

“You have to just change your game. For me it’s difficult to because I’m always thinking, being the ‘Brandon Roy of old,’ that’s not gonna happen so you have to move forward,” Roy said. “I’m at a place where I’m ready to move forward and understand that I have to change my game. That doesn’t mean I have to quit because I’m not gonna be the old Brandon Roy. In that case I think every player would have to quit because nobody’s gonna be their old self. But my biggest thing is just being positive and trying to continue to improve the player that I am now and get better at what I can still do. I feel like I can still be effective and help this team.”

Roy knows the path will be treacherous and mentally painful, but he also knows it’s been done before. He’s not the first superstar to face the challenge of injury—think Amar’e Stoudamire and Grant Hill—and be forced to modify his game as a result.

“I just understand that’s part of being in the NBA. Had a lot of good years, a lot of years that are really smooth and I sat back and said ‘Wow, that was perfect’ and reflecting on this one, for me it’s one that I think helped me mature. Not only as a basketball player but even as an individual.”

With July fast-approaching, and countless hours of work-outs looming, Roy is game-planning for a mentally arduous summer in the gym. Coaches, teammates and game film will fill the hours between now and next season.

“I’m gonna go back and watch some old games, but more importantly talk to our coaches and see like ‘Coach, where was I good? Where was I not so strong? And with how my body is now what positions on the court do you want me to work at to be able to help this team?’” Roy said. “Watching film and at the same time having conversations and getting come constructive criticism but getting all those things and also talking to friends and seeing how I can get better.”

Improvement is all that matters. Without an ounce of quit in him, and the doubts about his future thoroughly in the past, Roy’s future is his for the taking. Only continual hard work and time will tell the rest of Roy’s story. A story which, with any luck, will end years from now with Roy reflecting on how his summer of rebuilding made him a better player than he was before.


  1. you know, Sarah, i've gotten to the point where i don't even listen to the Brandon Roy naysayers any longer. it's all just speculation and no one else knows for sure what's going to happen nor what Brandon is capable of when he has time (like the summer) to put his mind to it. i think it should be noted that it wasn't just Brandon who had changed by the time he returned last season; but the team had changed. there was no longer the outside-in game, but the inside-out game with LaMarcus being the focal point. to me, Brandon and LaMarcus will always be linked together as the two guys who became blazers on the same day and elevated the team, invigorated the franchise, and elated the fans. Brandon wants to win, but there's no question in my mind that he wouldn't mind deferring to LaMarcus. that's the mental part Brandon seems to be looking at - changing his style a bit to suit the team. he's a team player, he's intelligent and winning is his priority. if anyone can figure it out, it's Brandon.

    by Kassandra on 6/20/2011 1:42 PM
  2. Excellent work Sarah! Great quotes from Brandon and I look forward to seeing how he looks back on the court when the season starts!

    by DHawes22 on 6/20/2011 1:59 PM
  3. Miss Sarah, I just read some of your blog over at BE. I am thrilled with BRoy changing his game. he has still got it in him to be an impact player as he proved in game 4 of the play-offs. I think his drives to the basket will be more scoring when he learns to protect the ball with his body instead of elevate. With his size he can be a dynamic post up player against other 2gds. He is an adequite passer and outside shooter, so really the only part of his game he has to change is the quick cross overs and the elevating. Looking forward more and more to it.

    by Hg on 6/20/2011 2:28 PM
  4. A little advice: Brandon ought to spend part of the summer watching lots of old films of regular season games of LARRY BIRD playing ball. Bird was slow, couldn't jump, had injuries, but still managed to dominate and be one of the very best ever to play. Watch how BIRD did it, Brandon.

    by ddreaume on 6/20/2011 3:03 PM
  5. All right now this is what i'm talking about! Its feels great to think that Brandon has decided the old Brandon Roy is through and that a new style of game is in order. Dare I say it, this could be the comeback story of next season. In my dreams it would play out as follows.
    Andre gets traded by the front office for a high draft pick where we quickly take a PGOTF. But while everyone has forgotten about andre and quickly fallen in love with our new point guard Roy approaches andre asking for help. Andre knows that they have never gotten along well but knows Roy is facing troubles and has no place to turn. So he grudgingly accepts to train him in the ways of dre.
    Over the summer, Andre decides, instead of going back home he will stay in portland and teach roy to use intelligence over athleticism. At first Roy is no good and just wants to quit and try to go back to his old ways but Dre is firm in his teaching and Roy quickly starts to learn. At the end of summer Roy has completely mastered Dre's style as well as sweet passing maneuvers and awesome alley-oop lobs. He can change his game tempo at will and now feels completely prepared.
    Fast forward to the playoffs. our PGOTF was a complete bust leaving us without a point guard fortunately Roy stepped up throughout the year and fills the PG spot perfectly. The blazers make the finals and on game seven with 10 seconds on the clock BRoy has the ball. Everyone is expecting a crazy drive or a heart stopping buzzer beater but Roy remembers his teaching and employs Andre's most secret and powerful maneuver. Roy fakes a time out and runs unhindered to the basket for an easy lay in. BLAZERS WIN THE CHAMPIONSHIP! the crowd goes wild and Dre watching from a television smiles. When a reporter asks brandon if there is anything he wanted to say to his doubters Roy ignores the question and instead announces that he has decided to give his ring to his mentor, the man who believed in him, Andre Miller. End scene, roll credits!

    by Lapinnoir on 6/20/2011 10:49 PM
  6. Nice post, Sarah. I have faith in the Natural still, that's for sure. Last season was just a roller coaster for Brandon and the fans. I'm glad he's realized he'll never be the Brandon Roy of old. I'm sure it tears him up inside. I'm sure it irks him after experiencing rookie of the year and all of the all-star appearances that he may never get to play at that level again, but he's very humble and a true professional. He has an out of this world basketball I.Q. and am sure will find some way to come back and be a large contributor to this team.

    Like he said, he'll just have to get together with the coaches and they'll have to brainstorm and figure out a way to get him to change his style of play so he can be effective and help this team. I hope more than anything he can come in and give Portland good contribution, even if that means playing only 20-25 minutes a game.

    by Mark on 6/21/2011 12:47 AM
  7. @lapinnoir: great dream, but if Dre is traded for a PGOTF, then he won't be around to help BRoy. Are you guilty of wanting your cake and eat it too LOL?

    by Hg on 6/21/2011 5:28 AM
  8. Great blog Sarah. Always love what you have to share with us :)

    I have steadfastly supported Brandon and will continue to do so. I have faith in Roy's intelligence, drive, and skillset. I completely believe he will not only determine the best ways to contribute at a high level for the team, but also that he will execute them. Roy is not a quitter and it's important to remember that he is an extremely talented player with fantastic BB instincts. I feel sick when I see what is written and said about him. In Roy I Trust!

    by SisillaRiann on 6/21/2011 10:13 AM
  9. I hope he plays well but for the money he makes he better kick some a _ _!!!!!

    by mbmurr1 on 6/21/2011 8:13 PM
  10. @mbmurr1:
    The money he makes has nothing to do with it.Whether you earn a dollar or a million dollars, you can only do as well as possible. Plus the money he make is paying him for the a_ _ he kicked prior to injury.

    Don't put any more pressure on him then he already has, because it won't help a bit

    by Hg on 6/21/2011 8:26 PM
  11. Brandon Roy needs to retire because he will only hurt the franchise if he obtains another injury which is very likely. Brandon Roy will never be the same and the Blazer franchise needs to look to the future and forget about Roy and Oden.

    by Mike Lemke on 6/22/2011 6:55 AM
  12. @Mike Lemke
    How do you know all this? Have you ever had a injury? If you were 26 would you want to be forced to retire because you are just going to get another injury anyway?

    We should retire La Marcus, he sprained his ankle and he will hurt the franchise with just another injury, same with Batum, Wesley, Crash, Camby, Mills, Elliot, and even the Iron man, Dre, has had ankle problems.

    Do you want to retire everybody that had injuries or just the one's you don't like? Do you know that the laws of Oregon protect people that has had on the job accidents? Why are you so down on BRoy and Greg? Can you be sure that whoever we get to replace them won't get injured?

    Show me a link or give reason's why you know or think that BRoy or Oden will be injured again, and I might buy into that. Until then I will defend the hurt, handicapped, and the unfortunates of the world.

    by Hg on 6/22/2011 7:13 AM
  13. Don't care how you get it done Brandon, just want to see a smile on your face.

    by Bull Frog on 6/22/2011 5:19 PM
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