Few players in the NBA are as universally beloved as Brandon Roy.
From that very first second he picked the Portland Trail Blazers up on his shoulders and single-handedly rebranded them, to our final image of him walking off the court in 2011, the fan adoration for Roy and all he brings to the table has been constant.
And so, because of that unwavering respect that most basketball fans have for Roy, few will critique the Minnesota Timberwolves too harshly for giving him a two-year, $10 million deal. (Even though it's really risky.) Via Jason Quick of The Oregonian:
Nearly seven months after leaving the game because of concern over his degenerative knees, Roy is making a comeback, verbally agreeing to a two-year, $10.4 million contract with the Minnesota Timberwolves on Thursday.
You’ll recall, back in 2011, Portland Trail Blazers doctors advised Roy to hang up his kicks for good. They told him the damage done to his knees by multiple surgeries and the natural, non-stop wear and tear that comes standard in basketball had gotten to the point of no return. If he kept balling, they reportedly warned him, it could impede his ability to walk later in life.
On the advice of those doctors, Roy retired. The Blazers still owed him nearly $70 million when he called it quits, so they opted to use their one-time amnesty clause on his deal – ensuring that his money wouldn’t impact their cap situation. And, by the same token, ensuring that if he were to return, it wouldn’t be them he’d be returning to.
Hence him agreeing to that somewhat massive deal with Minnesota yesterday.
The Chicago Bulls, Dallas Mavericks, Indiana Pacers and Golden State Warriors were all rumored to be inquiring about Roy’s services – but nobody was ready to drop the sort of coin that the Timberwolves ultimately did.
Stay tuned – the most interesting young team in the NBA just got even more interesting.
(Kudos Jason Quick)