One of the Western Conference's best guards of the last five years will not be a part of a post-lockout NBA. Portland Trailblazers guard Brandon Roy is being forced into a medical retirement by degenerative knees.
ESPN's Chris Broussard and Chad Ford are reporting sources who say that the veteran and much-beloved Blazer Brandon Roy will seek a medical retirement. While the details surrounding the decision are complex because of the NBA's salary cap procedures, the end result is simple. The fan favorite and most productive player of the last half-decade of Oregon's only professional franchise has gone as far as his body could take him.
Broussard and Ford both report that there had been speculation that the Blazers may use their amnesty option on Roy. This would allow the team to release him and not have his salary counted against the cap. However, the Blazers would still have to pay his salary despite the fact that it would not count as a part of the team payroll.
Brandon Roy ends his NBA career with an average of 19.0 PPG (points per game). He had two seasons in which he eclipsed 20 PPG, was a three-time All-Star selection, and was the 2007 NBA Rookie of the Year. Also according to his ESPN player profile, Roy spent his entire basketball career in the Pacific Northwest. A Seattle native and graduate of the University of Washington, he was a natural fit as a part of the only NBA franchise in the Pacific Northwest. Due to his native status, accessibility to the media, and all-around reputation as a "nice guy", he will be be sorely missed by a franchise which leaned heavily on him in recent years.
In what some would consider a final display of the kind of person he has shown himself to be as a professional athlete, Roy is choosing retirement instead of risking being picked up by another franchise.
While Roy's numbers in past seasons led him to All-Star games, his final campaign saw his PPG plummet to 12.2 and his minutes reduced by almost one-third. (ESPN Player Profile)