Minnesota’s Brandon Roy recently had knee surgery. He is supposed to be out for a month.
However, it’s also his seventh knee surgery, dating back to his junior year in high school.
Jason Quick of the Oregonian had this very revealing story about the former Blazer great. He was supposed to face his former team later on tonight but knee surgery prevented that from happening. Roy opened up about why he made this comeback.
“When I was 40, would I look back and say ‘You quit because you couldn’t be the best player anymore?’ I didn’t want to get older and regret that,” Roy said. “And the biggest thing I thought about was my kids. I’m going to want to hold them accountable one day, and I don’t want them to say, ‘Well, dad, you stopped playing just because of this… ‘ I want to say, no, I gave it an honest shot. And that’s the reason I felt I had to do this.”
However, there is a time when enough is enough. I get that he had to do it on his own terms. And then there’s this…
Not just one doctor, but multiple doctors have told Roy that he should stop playing basketball. His knees are getting worse by the day. By now, at 28, he has had so many surgeries, so many treatments and seen so many doctors, he sounds like a specialist. He explains that he has degenerative arthritis, which erodes and eventually eliminates cartilage, with the same precision and ease that came to define his run of three consecutive All-Star appearances. And with the calm that made him one of the game’s best finishers, he explains that his knees have reached Level III arthritis. There are only four stages.
“Level IV,” Roy says fearlessly, “is when you get a knee replacement.”
Brandon Roy is one step away from knee replacement. He’s only 28 years old. Think about that.
Nobody wants to see Roy in a wheelchair, especially at a young age. His children don’t want to see their father struggle walking. But him retiring from basketball so young had to weigh on him. In many ways, the game was all he knew. What was he supposed to do at the prime of his life?
He had to give it one more shot. No regrets. Although at some point, he should stop because his health is way more important than his basketball career. I understood, though. He had to find out for himself on whether he was still able to play with those balky knees. You don’t know unless you try, right?
And if he doesn’t play anymore, he has found his peace. He’s going out on his own terms. Roy just wanted to see if he could continue. But now reality has set in.
I’ve said this many times before and I’ll say it again: it’s okay to retire, Brandon. You’ve had an unbelievable career. But we’d rather see you walk with your children and stroll around with family and friends instead of seeing you in a wheelchair. The cost of forcing yourself to play an extra season in the NBA could be disastrous. We’re not blaming you for trying, Brandon.
We just want to see you healthy.