Sunday, July 24, 2011

A Dailogue about "BRoy Disappoints"

By Jonathan Ryan Davis

Today, I engaged in a wonderful dialogue on our Blazers Bloggers Network blog with "Hg" about my perspective on Brandon Roy's decision to not play in the H206 charity basketball game yesterday (link here).  Below is the transcript of our discussion.  Feel free to weigh in.

Other then the event showcasing BRoy, the rest of your analysis is somewhat of a pessimistic speculation of BRoy.

First you or anybody else can't say what is the healing time for a injury and also remember that the surgery did not fix anything, just cleaned the wound and hopefully bought him some time. Plus he is using a experimental injections of PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma), which if works, needs time to work. Just because he took part in the charity, didn't mean he had any intention of playing, I would question the people that put on the event and the advertisement first.

Second, his decision not to play because of the Dr. warning is very wise IMO. If you only have 10 games left in your body and every game you play in the NBA gives you a few million dollars and a charity game gives you nothing, would you be willing to sacrifice one of those 10 games left for charity. You might say yes, but I would doubt you, because you could pay an equal amount to charity from the salary made from the extra game and you would be doing more to honor your contract, plus giving the experimental drug a chance to work. Therefore, I would say his emotional state is just fine, except for the mental and physical pain of being permanently injured.

Although we all are disappointed in not seeing BRoy play yesterday, doesn't mean that BRoy himself is a disappointment, we were disappointed because of our greed not in the concern about BRoy's health. For that I say shame on us all.

by Hg on 7/24/2011 10:00 AM 

Thank you for your thoughtful comments. My assessment of Roy's decision to play might be a bit pessimistic, but that does not mean I am not optimistic about his potential to reinvent his game and become a positive contributor for the Blazers for years to come. Roy's knees are not going to get better, which is a sad fact. However, that does not mean he will not learn to play with what he has left in his knees.

His doctor's orders not to play makes sense. The Blazers have invested millions in him (as you suggest) and they want to preserve their investment. I guess I was just hopeful that Roy would be willing to at least put a few minutes on the court for the city that has given so much to him.

In terms of his emotional state, overtly it seems fine (as seen through his interviews with Ben Golliver and Jason Quick). Yet, I think we will learn a lot about where Roy is at mentally once camp and the season begin. I have been a cheerleader for Roy since the day we drafted him; but, I was pretty disappointed in how he handles himself in the beginning of the first round with his comments, despite his miracle game that followed the comments.

As a man, I have great respect for Brandon Roy in how we has renewed Blazermania, led an organization, and been a model community member, citizen, and family man. He was the perfect selection to turn our organization around and I would never say otherwise. I just hope his desire to be the player he once was will get in the way of his ability to be successful for years to come in a different way.

Thanks again for your comments!
by Jonathan on 7/24/2011 10:13 AM
Of course some of BRoy's comments in the play-offs were distasteful, and I am sure he is painfully aware of it.

It has been observed many times over, that the pursuit of emotional, physical and mental maturity starts with desire. The patient never gets rid of the child of the past, but just learns to control it as to not let it control you. As in anger control, a patient doesn't get rid of anger, just learns to control it. But, it is a process of two steps forward and one back. Every so often something will trigger the child of the past before the person has the time to think and they just react to the old recording of anger. Therefore, I don't look at the small samples of outburst, but the person as a whole. I get angry at times, but don't see myself as a angry person and would be upset if I was stereotyped as one. That is the same way as I see BRoy, he has his bad days emotionally, but all in all he is not the immature child that he displays from time to time.

You say he should have played a few minutes to give back to a city that gave him so much, look at the other side of the coin; how much did BRoy give the city. In that respect, I don't think BRoy owes the city or the city owes to BRoy.

PRP is still a experimental procedure, but used as an adult cell stemming with more then one injection may actually make his knees better, I was warned by my knee specialist, that there is no scientific proof that it can grow new Menisci through cell stemming there is no proof that it doesn't. therefore I choose to be optimistic on his knees getting better. But even at that there is many procedures that can buy him time.

BRoy wants to play BB, As being a patient with 2 artificial knees, I can assure you that BRoy may never give up his pursuit to be the player of old, but will be more then happy that he can still play. Therefore, I have no worry about that.

by Hg on 7/24/2011 11:31 AM


You make a very good point about looking at Roy's body of work in terms of maturity on and off the court. I guess a part of my hesitation about believing Roy to be in a good mental state to take on an alternate role with the team has more to do with him being human. Before his knee surgeries, Roy was super-human in so many ways.

Any person who has to cope with losing those skills would have a very difficult time accepting they can't be the same player. I assume Roy understands his knees will never be like they were, and deep down, he probably gets that he can't be the deceptively freak athlete he was during his first four seasons with the Blazers. However, any great competitor wants to believe they can still be the best (not a complementary player to the best). As you said, that is a characteristic that will help Roy continue to play beyond what a normal athlete would be able to.

He believes in himself, and that is most of the battle. But that belief could also cloud the new mentality he likely needs to take on to be successful with the team instead of a point of contention (between coaches and players in terms of what his role should be.) I honestly feel Roy could end up being a perennial 6th Man of the Year for many, many years with the right mindset and a little luck from the basketball gods in terms of his health. Where I think his desire to be the top-flight player could hurt the team is if he demands to start and is inconsistently successful. Odds are, for the sake of his knees, he will be much more effective in limited bunches instead of playing 30-35 minutes a game. And it's a different approach to the game when you are trying to be a game-changer who plays 20-25 minutes versus an anchor and starter who plays 35 minutes.

With regard to his knees, I also can empathize with trying to overcome knee surgery to play basketball again, as I am in the midst of rehabbing a microfracture surgery I had in January on my left knee. I will do anything I can to be active and competitive again, and I would not jeopardize hurting that possibility. My reservation with Roy's decision comes more from the perspective that he was cleared to play in the playoffs, where he didn't seem to have any real setbacks. Therefore, three months later, I had hoped he would be able to play in one scrimmage without any real threat of injury if he hadn't to date had any setbacks.

At the same time I completely understand and respect Roy's decision; yet I also was disappointed.
by Jonathan on 7/24/2011 12:37 PM

It takes more then just a dedication and a determination to be soundly mature. The best schooling you can have to acquire maturity is the lesson's of everyday life.

learning to overcome adversities is the best teacher of them all. In the respect of maturity only, one should welcome adversity although it would not be a welcoming feeling or pain. BRoy going through this adversity does not mean that he will learn all at once or even at all, but the opportunity is there for him to grasp.

It is often said that God will give you no adversity that you can not handle, but I feel it is just the opposite, God will give you adversities where you can learn from them and become a better vessel.

I was more disappointed in the fact that he was advertised as playing when in fact they must have known that the Dr. had not cleared him. Ya I would have loved to watch him put on a show and I was sad that he didn't. I too, have the mixed emotions of the event.

by Hg on 7/24/2011 1:30 PM

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