This just in: Brandon Roy’s making a comeback. Or at least that’s what we’ve been led to believe by my best friend’s sister’s boyfriend’s brother’s girlfriend who heard from this guy who knows this kid who’s going with the girl who saw Brandon working out at 24 Hour Fitness 48 hours, 33 minutes and 12 seconds ago. Okay, maybe that wasn’t exactly how it went, but both legitimate and illegitimate sources have been more than beating this drum in recent weeks, and due to such, Rip City finds itself amping-up the DEFCON scale, prepping for basketball’s version of thermonuclear war.
Last Saturday night, esteemed Oregonian columnist John Canzano wrote a column chronicling the intent of one of the Portland Trail Blazers’ favorite sons to return to action. In the process he started the clock on a time-bomb locked and loaded the day of Greg Oden’s initial microfracture surgery, which increased in potency with every torn meniscus, ruptured patella tendon, premature retirement and former #1 overall pick’s release more than three months ago. Since then, I’ve watched and listened as the collective blood pressure of a city on the brink rose with every conversation pertaining to the possibility of a Brandon Roy return, coupled with the assertion that said possibility would do so with a certain team located roughly a thousand miles south of here, who’s spent the better part of the last 35 years making Portland it’s female dog.
And to be honest; I don’t care.
That’s right, from day-1 of the Brandon Roy retirement, anyone not named Lloyd Christmas or Harry Dunn knew this day was coming. No one comfortable calling it a career has ever made such a quick transition from “I’m planning on starting,” to “shuffle-board anyone?” And due to such, it was apparent from the word “amnesty” that Roy wasn’t satisfied with his decision, and that at some point in the not-too-far-off future he’d be attempting a return. And I don’t blame him.
No one likes to be told they’re done before their time, and “The Natural” – as Brian Wheeler so eloquently dubbed him – wasn’t and shouldn’t have been anywhere near his time in a world more perfect than it unfortunately is. But this world is far from perfect and one needn’t look any farther than Brandon Roy’s knees to prove it. A handful of knee surgeries left Mr. Roy with cartilageless (if that wasn’t a word before, it is now) joints and the last time I checked, cartilage doesn’t grow back. I’m certain he’s telling us the truth when he speaks to feeling better, and I’m equally certain that at present he’s capable of playing basketball at a high level, but while very much certain of both the aforementioned, I’m as certain that an 82-game season will change both sooner rather than later.
I’d love nothing more than for Roy to still be a Blazer, and contributing at a level we previously expected him to, but he couldn’t on a regular basis and it’s unlikely he will again, be it in Phoenix, a new franchise in Seattle, or even with the ever-hated Lakers who rate somewhere between the current economic state of our country, and a steamy concoction your dog spent the better part of his morning stewing up, for fans of your Portland Trail Blazers.
I know it’s become fashionable to assume the worst in this time of doom and gloom, and due to the Roy/Oden scenario it’s completely understandable, but I feel like we’ve turned the corner of this trip to hell and back, and it’s time to start acting accordingly. If Roy wants to give a comeback a shot, more power to him. If he wants to do so with the Lakers, more power to that. But if he thinks he’s going to resurrect the second half of a 10-year career in the league, and you think such a resurrection will be at the expense of a championship run, I’ve got a bridge I’d be happy to give he and you a good price on.
Roy will never be what he once was, and the Blazers are further from a championship run than the present-day Portland Timbers, pre-Roy Hobbs New York Knights, or early 90’s Oregon State Beaver football team…okay, maybe not the latter, but I think I made my point, so let him go. It’s okay to wish him well, and it’s certainly okay to hope he’s able to play at least enough basketball in such an attempt to allow him the peace he needs in-order to willfully move on with his life. But to treat this situation with contempt or with any level of anxiety due to what “might happen,” is not only energy poorly spent, but more so poor form regarding a player you’ve spent the better part of 6 years making your own. It’s not global thermonuclear war…even if for a bit it might feel like it.