On Friday, former Portland Trail Blazers All-Star Brandon Roy confirmed something that many have been speculating about for months – he will attempt to make an NBA comeback next season.
Will he ultimately end up with the Los Angeles Lakers? That remains to be seen.
Roy, 27, retired back in December of 2011 on the advice of his doctors. After numerous procedures and years of battling injuries, it got to the point where he actually lacked cartilage between the bones of both knees. Some medical experts worried that if he were to continue playing, it could hinder his ability to walk later in life.
When it was all said and done, the Blazers wound up using their amnesty clause on Roy shortly after his retirement announcement.
A few months into 2012, rumors began to leak out that Roy was contemplating making a return at some point. Many teams were mentioned as possible potential suitors, but neither teams’ interest in him nor his interest in coming back were ever confirmed.
As noted by Alex Kennedy over at HoopsWorld:
“Lord willing, I will play again soon,” Roy wrote in a series of tweets. “Yes, I’m preparing for a comeback. I’m training daily. I’m preparing for a return next year. I appreciate the love. Hopefully I’ll be back on the floor soon. Health is good.”
When asked if he would return to the Portland Trail Blazers, Roy said it’s unlikely.
“I wish, but due to the NBA rules I cannot play in Portland until 2014-2015,” Roy tweeted. “I’m looking to return sooner. Thanks for your support. I’m fortunate to have played for such a great fan base. No matter where I play, Portland will always have a special place in my heart.”
One of the teams that’s been very closely linked to Roy in recent weeks has been the Los Angeles Lakers. As noted by ESPN’s Chris Palmer towards the end of May:
Someone who could help the Lakers: Brandon Roy. Based on what I'm told he could be back in the league next year.— chris palmer (@ESPNChrisPalmer) May 31, 2012
Kobe's respect for Roy is huge. Saw them getting along great at All-Star 2010.— chris palmer (@ESPNChrisPalmer) May 31, 2012
Should the Lakers pursue Roy? Well, like we said when Opposing Views first reported on these rumors three weeks ago:
Roy retired back in 2011 because his degenerative knee condition was deemed so bad, doctors feared it could impair his ability to walk if he were to keep playing. And really, even before he officially hung up his kicks, Roy was a shell of his former self long before he called it quits. He had that one stellar playoff showing versus the Dallas Mavericks but, outside of that, it was obvious that he was done.
So with all that being said – sure, a comeback by Roy wouldn’t be the most shocking thing in the world. Given the advances they’ve made in medical technology over the last few years, anything is possible. But a comeback and a successful comeback are two very different things.
Then again, during a recent interview with NBA.com, Tony Wroten -- one of the premiere guards in the 2012 NBA Draft -- said this in reference to Roy’s current skills:
“I'm a good defender, I feel like, but, man, it's a little hard to stop him. He just gets to his spots.”
If a guy currently trying to get picked in the first round on the strength of his skills is willing to acknowledge that Roy can still ball him up, that’s pretty solid praise.
This is definitely a situation worth keeping an eye on in the next few months.
Get more Lakers news and rumors on Twitter: @agroberman