PHOENIX - DECEMBER 10: Brandon Roy #7 of the Portland Trail Blazers handles the ball during the NBA game against the Phoenix Suns at US Airways Center on December 10 2010 in Phoenix Arizona. The Trail Blazers defeated the Suns 101-94. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that by downloading and or using this photograph User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Yeah, I know, it's only basketball. And I guess it seems a basketball injury, even a severe one, is a minor event in comparison to other things going on in the world. But for me, Brandon Roy's retirement last month came as a shock... and as a bit of a relief. It might be selfish, but I didn't want to see Roy at half what he was. Without the dynamic step, without the extraordinary ability to slash to the rim or create space where there simply wasn't any, the only thing left would be Roy's desire and, without the superb athleticism to go along with it, it would only leave us with memories of the way it was, and the way it could have been.
On December 9, 2011, Brandon Roy gracefully retired and spared himself some of the pain that was surely part of his daily routine. In a decade, maybe sooner, meniscus transplant surgery, or micro-fracture surgery may evolve and improve to the point where someone like Roy might be able to continue playing basketball. But Roy is almost certainly already suffering from fairly advanced osteo-arthritis and will not be the beneficiary of such technology. All the King's horses and all of humanity's medical advances have not yet come far enough to save the career of this brilliant athlete.
It's only basketball, sure, but the magic that Brandon Roy created on the court pleased millions of people. I am only one. With the Portland Trail Blazers coming to Staples Center tonight to face the Los Angeles Clippers, I wanted to talk about the player who won't be there. Then I thought it would be better to watch the player in action. There are hundreds of videos on youtube. I chose this one: