Portland’s Roy to seek medical retirement
All-Star guard Brandon Roy has told the Portland Trail Blazers
he plans to retire because of ongoing trouble with his knees.
A five-year veteran who helped the team shed its ”Jail
Blazers” reputation, Roy has been dogged by pain for the past two
seasons. He has said in the past that he lacks cartilage between
the bones in both knees.
Acting general manager Chad Buchanan said the Trail Blazers were
still looking at their options concerning Roy, including the
amnesty clause in the NBA’s new labor agreement.
Players were informed of Roy’s surprising decision on Friday
morning before the team’s first practice of training camp.
”I couldn’t believe it,” Blazers forward Nicolas Batum said.
”I still can’t believe it.”
Roy did not report to the Blazers’ practice facility Friday and
his agent did not respond to requests for comment on his retirement
plans, first reported by ESPN.com.
NBA spokesman Tim Frank said Roy had not yet filed the
appropriate paperwork with the league.
Coach Nate McMillan spoke to Roy on Thursday night and described
him as disappointed.
”Of course, we know what he means to this franchise. He was
part of bringing it back, bringing back winning basketball,”
McMillan said. ”Unbelievable talent. You’re sad to see a situation
like this happen.”
It sounded as if Roy was ready to go when Blazers President
Larry Miller, McMillan and Buchanan held a news conference on
Monday. Roy had met with team officials earlier that day and said
he felt good and was ready to help the team in any way he
But it became apparent during a medical evaluation on Thursday
that Roy’s knees were not going to be able to handle another
”It’s a tough situation,” Blazers center Marcus Camby said.
”People will say `Hey, he’ll get his money.’ But Brandon’s a
Buchanan said late Friday that the team was exploring its
options concerning both a formal medical retirement and amnesty for
Roy, who signed a five-year maximum contract with the team in 2009.
The clause would allow the team to waive Roy without having his
salary count against the cap and luxury tax.
”We’re somewhat in the infant stages of going through that
process and getting that started,” Buchanan said. ”But (we’re)
very supportive of Brandon in all of this. It’s a very difficult
decision as you can imagine.”
If the 27-year-old Roy files for medical retirement, insurance
likely would take care of his salary in coming years. His salary
would not count against the cap after one year.
Roy sat for stretches of last season because of soreness. He had
arthroscopic surgery on both knees last January and finished the
season with a career-low average of 12.2 points in 47 games.
Roy averaged 19 points, 4.7 assists and 4.3 rebounds for his
The sixth overall pick in the 2006 draft out of Washington, Roy
was acquired by the Blazers in a draft-day trade. The 2007 NBA
Rookie of the Year made the All-Star team from 2008-2010.
Nicknamed ”The Natural” by the team’s broadcasters, Roy has
been the affable face of the franchise and remains popular among
In last season’s first-round playoff series against the eventual
NBA champion Dallas Mavericks, Roy shook off the pain and led
Portland to a stunning 84-82 comeback victory in Game 4. He scored
18 of his 24 points in the fourth quarter as the Blazers erased a
But when the season was over, Roy sounded defeated.
”This has just been a tough year, my most difficult as a
Blazer,” he said. ”I tried to make the most of things. I can
definitely say I honestly tried. I’ve given this team my
On Friday, Camby pointed up to the retired jerseys lining the
rafters of the Blazers’ practice facility.
”His number belongs up there,” Camby said. ”That’s all I can