Brandon Roy Wishes Portland Would Treat Him Better

Brandon Roy doesn’t want self-pity. But he can’t help it. Not too long ago, Roy was one of the best young players in the game, a franchise talent in Portland who was good enough two years ago to average 22.6 points, 4.7 rebounds and 5.1 assists a game. He had beat the system, overcome all of the odds to actually make the NBA, and then once there, he rose even further.

But then, his knees broke down and everything changed. Last night, after having another completely forgettable game against the Dallas Mavericks, Roy told The Oregonian that it can’t go on this way. His role isn’t working:

All told, the three-time All-Star played a scoreless 7:59, missed his only shot from the field, missed both of his free throws, and made one turnover.

“There was a point in the first half, and I was thinking ‘You better not cry,”’ Roy said. “I mean, serious. I mean, there was a moment where I felt really sorry for myself. Then I was like, nah, you can’t be sorry for yourself. I’m a grown man, but there was a moment there that I felt sorry for myself. Especially when I think I can still help.”

Roy was one of the first players to leave the locker room, but when he was stopped in the hallway, the hurt and confusion were still evident.

“I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little hurt, or disappointed,” Roy said. “But the biggest thing is to keep moving, to try and keep my spirits up. But it’s tough man. I just …. I just always thought I would be treated better. That was a little disappointing for me.”

Roy says his knees are fine. Not everyone believes that though. After a Game 1 loss in Dallas that saw Roy play 26 minutes, many of them in the fourth quarter, and finish just 1-7 from the field, Blazers coach Nate McMillan elected to go in another direction, and basically shut Roy down for Game 2. McMillan is in a difficult spot. It’s hard to refuse a player who believes he can help but at the same time, it’s even more difficult to use someone of Roy’s stature as a 10th man.

Roy believes he needs to play for longer spurts. He can’t find a rhythm in two and a half minutes. He’s never done that. But in the playoffs, stuck in a 0-2 ditch, it’s not up to Roy to disagree or argue. The Blazers just need to win.

Whenever an athlete has a major debilitating injury, perhaps a major surgery, something in them is lost forever. Maybe it’s innocence; they know they aren’t unbreakable anymore. They know their own mortality. There’s doubt. Some make it back. Some don’t. Physically, they’ll have to do things differently, or prepare differently, to bring themselves to the level they were before.

But for Roy, he’s stuck. His assurances that he’s fine are hollow. We are used to seeing him in a certain light. Right now, he’s shrouded in darkness. He just doesn’t look like the same player.

There isn’t much loyalty in sports. The business is too cut-throat. What you did even so little as six months ago doesn’t mean much. For Roy and the Blazers, they’ll have time this summer to talk about loyalty. But right now, in the playoffs, something, or someone, has to give.

What should Portland do with Roy? Play him more or sit him?

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