Trail Blazers guard Brandon Roy apologized Thursday for his comments about playing time after the second game of Portland’s playoff series against the Dallas Mavericks, saying they resulted from frustration.
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Roy spoke at the team’s morning shootaround before Game 3 of the first-round series, which the Mavericks led 2-0.
”I was really emotional there and a little frustrated,” he said.
Roy played just eight minutes of the Blazers’ 101-89 loss in Game 2 and didn’t score. He sparked controversy in Portland with comments he made to The Oregonian newspaper after the game.
”I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little hurt or disappointed,” Roy told the paper. ”I just always thought I would be treated a little better. That was a little disappointing for me.”
The three-time All-Star battled knee problems during the regular season, finally undergoing arthroscopic surgery on both knees in mid-January. He has said that he lacks cartilage between the bones.
Roy struggled to find his place with the Blazers upon his return from surgery and was relegated to the bench, while Wesley Matthews took over as the team’s shooting guard.
During the regular season Roy averaged 12.2 points in 47 games, including 23 starts. So far during the playoffs against Dallas he has had two points in 34 minutes.
On Thursday, Roy was contrite for his comments, saying he never intended to be a distraction.
”It was something that maybe shouldn’t have been said, but I can’t go back on it now,” Roy said.
Coach Nate McMillan said earlier that he understood where Roy – for several years the face of the franchise – was coming from.
”We are going through a season where we are trying to figure out exactly what he can do and how he can help the team and get him through this year,” McMillan said. ”I know what he has done for this organization and to call Brandon Roy in as a backup is different. I totally understand what he’s saying.”
Both McMillan and Roy said they privately discussed Roy’s frustration. Roy said he knows he needs to have an immediate impact when he comes into games.
”I gotta try to produce a little bit faster. I’ve always been kind of a slow starter,” he said.
Several of the other Blazers said they sympathized with Roy.
”He’s an All-Star,” forward Gerald Wallace said. ”Guys want to play, especially at this time of year.”