With Brandon Roy’s retirement announcement last week, the only thing the city of Portland is blazing (besides chronic…ba-dum-tsh) is a trail of disappointment and unfulfilled potential. You would think the team that gave up Michael Jordan for Sam Bowie would catch a big break in the karmic cycle of professional basketball. Think again. Between Roy’s degenerative knees and multiple knee surgeries for their former 1st round draft pick, Greg Oden, the Blazers have new meaning for the term “Contract Killers.”
No stranger to injury, Roy was plagued by knee troubles since his college days at the University of Washington. A meniscus tear in his right knee forced the college star to the bench during his junior year. Although B-Roy contemplated entering the NBA draft after a strong recovery from knee surgery, he decided to finish his education and play UW basketball for one more season (good decision in hindsight). After a historic senior year, the first team All-American and PAC-10 player of the year was drafted by the Minnesota Timberwolves in 2006 (only to be traded shortly after to the Portland Trailblazers). Even after dealing with a left heel injury that sidelined “The Natural” for 20 games, Roy came back with a vengeance and was awarded the NBA rookie of the Year award.