Yesterday at the Nike Trainer 1 release event in Newport Beach, Calif., I got a couple of minutes to chat with Brandon Roy (who loved his Dime #48 cover) about his recent NBA playoff debut, his offseason plans, and what it’s like being guarded by arguably the two toughest 1-on-1 defenders in the world for two weeks straight.
Dime: What was your first postseason experience like?
Brandon Roy: It’s nothing like it, really. I’m played in the NCAA Tournament before, but that’s different in that you’re playing in a region at a neutral site. In the playoffs, you’ve got home games that mean so much, so the atmosphere and intensity is crazy. Then it’s seven games, so for two weeks straight you’ve got that feeling. Even though we lost, I enjoyed the experience.
Dime: Normally when you’ve got somebody like Ron Artest or Shane Battier guarding you, it’s one game, then you’re on to the next game and the next city. But you had those two on you for five, six games straight. Talk about that.
BR: It was taxing. It’s like I’m going out there every night and one play Ron is laying on me, pushing me — then the next play Shane is grabbing me, putting his hand in my face when I’m shooting. I took the most I could from the experience. For me, I know I’m gonna be better because of it. It became a game with myself: Alright, let me give it to ’em again, let me go hard at ’em again, now let’s see what they bring. It was like a clash, but I knew one way or another I was gonna come out of that series better.
Dime: What did you think when you heard about Ron saying you were the toughest player he’s ever guarded?
BR: I mean, I thought that was cool. It’s high praise what he said. I don’t think it was taking anything away from Kobe or LeBron; you know, those are my favorite players in the game, but I was definitely honored by the comment. It’s high praise coming from somebody like Ron who takes pride in defense and takes pride in shutting guys down. But now my thing is to try to prove him right.
Dime: Does playing a longer season change your summer workout routine at all?
BR: Yeah, I’m gonna start working out a little later than usual. And what I’ve started doing more now is, I don’t play as much basketball. You know, during the season you get worn out, you have practice every day. So now, it’s like I’ll do biking; I’ll do swimming; when I’m lifting weights, I keep it under 30 minutes. I try to do a number of things to stay fit and stay in shape but still not wear myself out mentally with basketball.
Dime: What’s your offseason looking like? Are you gonna be with Team USA when they have training camp?
BR: It’s something I’m planning right now to be involved in. This is also the summer where I can re-negotiate my contract, so we’ll see how that goes. But, you know, Team USA is something every kid wants to be a part of growing up and you want to be a part of now.
B-Roy was of course in Cali to help launch these. His player-version ones were hot: Blazers red-and-black, with nods to his alma mater on the inside and “B-Roy” on the back.