The Pacific Northwest’s former favorite son, Brandon Roy, turns 29 today, which is crazy for those of us who were lucky enough to watch him during his first five seasons with Portland. It seems like Roy’s been around a lot longer, and 29 is the year most player’s reach the apogee of their careers before the downward slide in their thirties. But Roy’s knees had other plans, and after an aborted comeback attempt in Minnesota this year, he’s likely going to retire again, soon. So it’s the perfect time to look back at five his best moments as pro.
Roy’s athleticism slowly ebbed away with each ensuing knee injury, but before his knees robbed him of his prime, he still had plenty of moments to immortalize him in Trail Blazers lore, and lead many of us to wonder: what if? What if he’d stayed healthy? Would Portland have ever contended for a title?
Without going to far down the what if rabbit hole, lets take a look back at his top five moments as a pro. You’ll notice none came during his short-lived return to the league this year with the ‘Wolves, but that doesn’t matter. What does matter is Roy’s shining star burned so brightly at the beginning that it ultimately burned out way too soon.
5. Roy Switches hands during lay-up over Chris Bosh and the Raptors
In mid-December of 2007, Roy’s Blazers took on Chris Bosh and Jose Calderon of the Raptors. While the game didn’t feature any late-game heroics from Roy like you’ll see further down our list, it did include a mid-air switch of hands for a lay-up that harkens back to Michael Jordan‘s much-celebrated switch mid-air during the 1991 NBA Finals against Magic Johnson’s Lakers.
Roy would finish with a game-high 25 points on an efficicent 10-for-16 shooting from the field along with 9 boards and 8 dimes. That was the all-around game that was so mesmerizing about Roy’s contributions to the Blazers. They went on to win the game by holding the Raptors to just 13 fourth quarter points, but everyone will remember Roy’s mid-air switch, which bamboozled a rotating Chris Bosh.