Brandon Roy discusses his not-so-merry Christmas
Brandon Roy will be home for Christmas, but for a reason that’s hardly a dream.
Team president Larry Miller announced via streaming video Tuesday night that the shooting guard will miss the pending three-game road trip at Golden State, Utah and Denver to further rest his sore knee. By trip’s conclusion, Roy will have sat out six consecutive games due to the ailing joint and nine for the season.
Roy commented on the decision after practice Wednesday.
“I’m trying to make sure I get as much rest as possible, making sure I feel good for the rest of the year,” said Roy, who will be re-evaluated when the team returns after its game vs. the Nuggets on Dec. 28. “I’m trying to get back to where I’m confident for the rest of the year and not just a few games.”
Roy has not attempted to practice or work out in any real capacity, saying the decision to skip the trip was based primarily on feel. And while he feels better than he did a week ago, Roy added that the knee is sore just walking around these days.
The incessant uncertainty, frequent reports of pain and number of games missed have prompted pundits nationwide to suggest that Roy simply shut it down for the rest of the year to ensure his long-term health.
But neither Roy nor Blazers coach Nate McMillan has considered that option yet.
“There’s a lot of season left. I think this time I have to be smart about it and not rush back when I’m feeling OK instead of coming back when I feel good about it,” Roy said. “I don’t want to just say that I’m going to shut it down for the whole year because there are a lot of games to played. I’m hopeful I’m able to feel that much better after this week.”
Added McMillan, who answered “no” when asked if the team has thought about sidelining Brandon for the season: “Basically we are trying to manage this as we go. We talked about a week, him being out for a week, and we’ll look at him again when we come back from this road trip.”
Roy said that he doesn’t foresee ever being completely pain-free on the court but just wants be healthy enough to produce. He added that the success of the Blazers, who are 5-1 without him this year, will not dictate how quickly he returns.
More than anything, though, you have to think that this is weighing on his sanity, that the unpredictability of the injury is driving him nuts.
“That’s the difficult part, that there’s really no answer. I just try to stay the course,” Roy said. “There’s nothing you can to about it. I try to stay positive but there’s really no answer.”
The Blazers swept their past three games sans Roy, albeit against three teams each well under .500. The stretch allowed Rudy Fernandez to receive ample playing time, on which he capitalized by averaging more than 18 points per game. Even so, McMillan rebuffed the idea that Portland is better without its highest-paid player.
“If we are thinking we are better without Brandon Roy, I think his record, what he has done here speaks for itself,” McMillan said. “We’ve played without a lot of guys this year.”
Roy is certainly in a different place than he envisioned before the season began, when Portland was teeming with soaring expectations toward this up-and-coming franchise and its star player. Has he been able to accept this new reality?
“I think it’s sinking in, “Roy said.” I wouldn’t say I’ve accepted it totally yet. I wouldn’t say it’s totally sunk in, but it’s something I think about from time to time.”
Matt Calkins can be contacted at email@example.com