Dame Lillard recently said that if he ever wins a championship with Portland, it would definitely made him the best TrailBlazer ever. If Dame wins, few people would disagree with him. But if it weren’t for the injuries in Brandon Roy’s career, who knows how it would play out.
In those five seasons he played in Portland, Roy left a significant mark, even though he never won past the first round in the playoffs.
Roy was selected from 6th place by the Timberwolves in 2006 and was traded to Portland the same day. And he brought confidence to the league since day one. In his rookie year, he averaged 16.8 points and was named rookie of the year. Just a reminder, the 2006 draft class had players like Rajon Rondo, LaMarcus Aldridge, Andrea Bargnani, and Kyle Lowry.
Unfortunately, the knee injuries started to interfere, and his career was abruptly ended.
However, the players recognized his game. On the All the Smoke podcast with Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson, Joe Johnson said Roy was his favorite one-on-one battle.
“Man, I had some good battles with Brandon Roy. I’ve played against LeBron in Cleveland a few times, we had some good battles. I remember going back and forth with Kobe. He came to Atlanta with the Lakers and probably about the last 14 or15 points was just me and him going back and forth. When the Lakers come to Atlanta, you’ll see a number of Lakers fans going crazy. Those are the moments that I remember.”Joe Johnson, via All The Smoke
The thing with Roy is that he never really had the chance to showcase his full potential. Which was, by the way, huge. The dunks, the crossovers, the athleticism, and the clutch shots – Roy had the whole package. ‘Iso Joe’ says that Roy was a pretty good defender too.
“Brandon Roy just knew how to play. He had a great pace to his game and he was an underrated defender. I thought that he was a pretty good defender. He really made me locked in when we played against him. That’s why I said he was one of the good match-ups. Because he was a quiet guy but he got it done. Yeah, and he was athletic too. That boy had sneaky hops.”Joe Johnson, via All The Smoke
What Joe is saying only confirms that B-Roy belongs to the top of the ‘what if’ players. Maybe even in the top few along with Derrick Rose.
Roy was a prolific scorer who had the skills to impress fans night in and night out, but the injuries didn’t allow him to have a happy ending.