Brandon Roy only spent six seasons in the NBA, but he solidified himself as one of the best shooting guards in the league during his playing days. He was named the Rookie of the Year in 2007, made three NBA All-Star teams, and was on the All-NBA Second Team in 2009 as well as the All-NBA Third Team in 2010. But unfortunately, his career was derailed by a series of nagging knee injuries that never allowed him to reach his full potential. If not for those knee injuries that eventually forced the Trail Blazers to use the amnesty clause on him in 2011, everyone's perception of Roy as a player would probably be much different than it is today.
Roy appeared on J.J. Redick’s podcast on The Vertical this week, and he spoke at length about the career-ending knee injuries that he suffered. Redick came right out and asked Roy if he has trouble wrapping his mind around what happened to him once he reached the NBA, and Roy had some surprising answers for him. Specifically, he said that “Why me?” isn’t a question that he’s ever asked himself since leaving the league.
“I never ask ‘Why me?’ because the first All-Star Game I ever played in was an NBA All-Star Game,” Roy said. “I always looked at that like a blessing. From the moment I sat there at the NBA Draft and the Commissioner said, ‘With the sixth pick in the 2006 NBA Draft, the Minnesota Timberwolves select Brandon Roy…,’ I said every moment from here is just extra. I had waited for that moment my whole life.”
Roy then went on to say that while he didn't ask "Why me?" he did ask himself some other questions.
“I never sit back and say, ‘Hey, why me?’” he said. “What I do sit back and think about sometimes is, ‘Man, what if I had great knees and never really been injured before? What kind of player could I have been? What kind of player could I have challenged to be?’ A lot of people don’t know, but even those years where I was able to be an All-Star, I was in some pain. There was some games where I was like, ‘Man, I don’t know how I’m going to do this.’ So it was pretty cool to be able to have a great career knowing that I had injuries…I just try to take all the good and appreciate everything and the lifestyle I’m able to provide for my kids and my family. I’m grateful.”
Roy also said that his kids were one of the main reasons he didn’t have a lot of trouble walking away from the NBA for good.
“I don’t want to be in a wheelchair in my 30s,” he remembers thinking when he eventually called it quits.
You can check out Redick’s entire podcast with Roy here. The two also discussed the time Roy attended a Lakers’ playoff game wearing a Kobe Bryant jersey when they were still in high school and what it felt like when Kobe paid Roy a few compliments when he first entered the NBA.
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[via The Vertical]