It wasn’t supposed to end like this, with his Trail Blazers teammates opening practice and Brandon Roy five miles away in a half-moved in home.
While the Trail Blazers opened their 2011-2012 season, one of the most popular players in franchise history ended his in stunning fashion. Roy informed the team he intended to retire after an exam with team orthopedist Dr. Don Roberts revealed the extent of damage to Roy’s degenerative knees.
Roy is 27, the age when basketball players enter their prime, but in November of last year Roy revealed that four knee surgeries dating back to his high school career left him with no meniscus in either knee. Every time he jumped and cut, his knees were absorbing bone-on-bone friction.
Two months after that revelation, Roy had double knee surgery, and he later admitted he then feared his career was over.
He admitted that mortality in the fervor after Game 4 of the 2011 Playoffs against Dallas, in what was one of the greatest playoff performances not only by a Blazers player, but any NBA player. Roy practically single-handedly carried the Blazers to victory against the Mavericks, scoring 24 points, 18 of them in the fourth quarter, to help erase a 23-point deficit.
It would end up being the third to last game of his career as a Portland Trail Blazer.