This isn’t exactly breaking news given the recent trajectory of his career, but it’s worth noting that Husky legend and former NBA All-Star Brandon Roy has been waived by the Minnesota Timberwolves, bringing his comeback attempt to an unsuccessful close, and likely spelling the end of his career as an NBA player.
After a dominant senior season in ’05-’06 in which Roy averaged 20.2 points per game on 50% shooting from the field to go along with over 5 rebounds and 4 assists, the Garfield High School product was drafted 6th overall by the Timberwolves, who quickly traded him to the Trailblazers for the rights to Randy Foye (ha). He quickly established himself as a star in Portland, winning the 2007 Rookie of the Year award and rattling off three straight All-Star appearances from 2008 to 2010.
Nov 9, 2012; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves guard Brandon Roy (3) shoots over Indiana Pacers guard Lance Stephenson (1) during the second quarter at the Target Center. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
Unfortunately, in 2011 Roy underwent several knee surgeries, and his role on the floor began to rapidly diminish as the bone on bone grinding in his knees became unbearable. He announced his retirement in 2011 at the age of 27, when a star of his caliber with healthy knees would have just been entering his prime.
In 2012, Roy underwent the platelet-rich plasma surgery that famously aided Kobe Bryant and signed with the Timberwolves on July 31st in an attempt to restart his career. Unfortunately, he was only able to play five regular season games before his knee problems got the best of him, and now that he has been waived, it is likely that his career is permanently over.
Roy didn’t play long enough to establish himself as a hall of fame type talent, but in the Pacific Northwest, he will be remembered as a true great whose unique craftiness at the shooting guard position was undoubtedly as unique as it was effective. Regardless of how rough the last few years were on his body and his mind, Washington fans will remember him as a guy that put up 20 a game at UW, and the people of Portland will remember him as a player capable of averaging 22 point a game in only his third year in the league.
His number hangs in the rafters of HecEd, and while it’s easy to wonder what could have been, it’s safe to say that Roy will never be able to walk the streets of Seattle or Portland without fans recognizing one of the best basketball players in the history of the Northwest.