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Tag:Brandon Roy
Posted on: February 28, 2012 4:12 pm
Edited on: February 28, 2012 4:14 pm
 

Brandon Roy considering an NBA comeback?

Could Brandon Roy be trying to make a comeback? (Getty Images)
Posted by Royce Young

In professional basketball terms, the story of Brandon Roy is as close to sad as it gets. An All-Star caliber player, a max-level franchise cornerstone, a guy that could potentially lead a team deep into the postseason that had his career tragically cut short because his knees betrayed him.

But maybe, just maybe, he's thinking about giving it another shot. Via international basketball site US Basket, Roy is considering it. Referring to himself in the third person, Roy said, "It’s hard being away from the game. Don’t be surprised if you see Brandon Roy make his way back to the court…”

Plus this:

According to sources close to the player, regardless of his knee problems, Roy’s decision to retire wasn’t all health related. “There’s something to it, but it’s not the right time for me to get into it right now,” Roy said. “I’ve been doing some treatment and I’m trying to leave the window open to returning to basketball.”

When met with skepticism regarding his comeback, Roy explained, “It’s the truth. It’s really hard being so far away from the game. I spend time watching Jamal (Crawford) and following all of his games; Will (Conroy) and Tre (Simmons) are both doing their thing, so it’s driving me to wanna come back out there. If the treatment I’ve been looking into can work, I believe there’s a good chance you will see Brandon Roy back hoopin’."

As quite a large fan of Roy's that would be terrific news. But only terrific news with a catch: He needs to be healthy enough to do it. He really does. Because late last season when he was fighting against his knees and still trying to convince himself he was the same player, it just wasn't fair to himself.

Who knows what kind of treatment he's referencing -- maybe it's the same Kobe Bryant got -- but Roy has a major uphill battle if he's to return to the NBA. He's still young at just 27, which is in his favor. But again, when it's your knees and the lack of cartilage in them that you're fighting against, that's like climbing Everest. It's a long way back from there.

But I'm rooting for him. Roy was a wonderful basketball player and even if he hasn't to reinvent himself as a shooter or just play limited minutes, I'm all for him giving it a shot.
Category: NBA
Posted on: December 20, 2011 4:25 am
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Posted on: December 20, 2011 4:08 am
Edited on: December 20, 2011 11:18 am
 

Blazers owner Paul Allen opens his dungeon

Posted by Ben Golliver

paul-allen-blazers

PORTLAND, Ore. – Portland Trail Blazers owner Paul Allen made his fortune toiling away in dungeons.

In his recent autobiography, Idea Man, Allen wistfully recalls the small apartments, cramped workspaces, crowded dormitories, dark basements and shared offices that produced Microsoft, the computer software company he co-founded with Bill Gates that made him into a billionaire more than a dozen times over.

2011 has been a year Allen won’t soon forget. His helicopter crashed off the coast of Antarctica; he reportedly secured the premier superyacht docking spot for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London; he was sued by his ex-military bodyguards for alleged illegal activities; he fired his second Blazers general manager in less than a year; he emerged as a villain during the NBA’s collective bargaining negotiations for his hardline approach; and he watched his beloved basketball team, which he has owned since 1988, crumble at the knees, opting to spend more than $60 million to use the amnesty clause on former All-Star guard Brandon Roy so that he could begin to rebuild it.

There’s the “Mo Money, Mo Problems” explanation, but that is ridiculous.

Along the way, Allen has drawn more than his fair share of criticism, most of it centering on his unpredictability and rash decision-making. A regular luxury tax spender over the last decade, Allen switched course to push for the NBA to overhaul its financial system by drastically increasing revenue sharing and restricting large-market teams’ abilities to spend on player payroll. A certified computer genius who hand-coded Microsoft’s early products, Allen has meddled so regularly with the Blazers that his employees seemingly never know what’s coming next and his basketball operations executives spin through as if in a turnstile.

To the city of Portland, Allen has been a globe-trotting technology junkie who uses Twitter regularly but has refused to take questions from independent media outlets in years, granting only rare, rehearsed interviews to team broadcasters and occasionally issuing prepared press releases.

Allen ended that with a bang on Monday night. And he returned to the comforts of his dungeon to do it.

Roughly an hour before the Blazers tipped off their preseason opener against the Utah Jazz, Allen invited a group of six writers, one team employee, one radio talk show host and one television anchor into an auxiliary locker room inside the bowels of the Rose Garden, a stadium designed to his specifications, all the way down to the apartment and helipad for his personal use. The use of Twitter during the interview was expressly disallowed; photographs and video of the meeting were forbidden. All conditions had to be agreed to prior to entering. Inside the concrete cube, water bottles had been laid out around a square table, with Allen entering last to sit at the head of the table, as you probably expected.

Of course, this is where and how Allen would prefer to end his years-long silence in Portland. Of course it was. 

Wearing what is essentially his gameday uniform – a navy blue light jacket, dark pants, a white and blue dress shirt, square-framed eyeglasses and a turquoise ring – Allen patiently answered question after question for more than 35 minutes. His hands pounded the table, his arms waved; he held his forehead at times and crossed his arms at others. He nearly teared up when discussing Roy’s departure from basketball, and he alternated between making direct eye contact and gazing into the empty, closed airspace above the reporters’ heads. 

He looked, often, like the typecast, anti-social, middle-aged former software engineer that he is.

This wasn’t billionaire pomp and glamour; it was start-up style frank talk. His words were firm and friendly even when delivering some of the biggest doozies you will ever hear from an NBA owner.

For instance: His biggest clearly-expressed problem with former GM Rich Cho was their inadequate courtside banter during games. And Cho’s predecessor, Kevin Pritchard, according to Allen, decided to fire himself.

Cho, known as a sharp salary cap manager and analytical thinker, was abruptly fired in May 2011, weeks before the 2011 NBA Draft. The decision was made because his chatter wasn't properly stimulating.

“I sit with the general manager down on the court and I talk through every game with them and you get a sense for his thinking and his evaluation of players, how he thinks about our team, how he thinks about our coaching,” Allen explained. “You can have a good interview with somebody and be optimistic but then when it comes to getting into the season, sitting next to them, talking about the players, where you are going, potential trades, sometimes you realize it's not a good fit. That's basically what happened with Rich. He's a great person and I wish him well. But it wasn't a good fit.”

The Cho firing was stunning in its swiftness -- he was canned after spending less than a year on the job-- but it didn’t leave the same emotional crater as Pritchard’s departure, which occurred on the night of the 2010 NBA Draft. Pritchard, practically a cult hero in Portland for his salesmanship and stewarding of a young up-and-coming Blazers squad, dealt with weeks of agonizing job uncertainty after watching his right hand man, Vice President of Basketball Operations Tom Penn, abruptly fired during the second half of the 2009-2010 season. Pritchard’s chaotic draft day dismissal came to symbolize Allen’s overbearing, impulsive ownership style.

But Allen’s version is completely different. Allen’s account has Pritchard practically begging for the axe, going out of his way more than once to request that Allen let him go.

“I went out to get a breath of fresh air and Kevin tracked me down and basically said, 'Well, you've already decided to let me go.' And I said, 'Nooo, I haven't?' And he said, 'No, but you really should. Can I just meet with [Blazers president] Larry [Miller] the next day and we'll part ways?’ And I was like, 'OK… really?'”

To hear Allen tell it, Pritchard’s job wasn’t even necessarily in jeopardy. A “deep discussion” with a “real heart-to-heart” exchange could have bought Pritchard another year as Blazers GM. But it wasn’t to be, Allen said, because of Pritchard's persistence.

"He asked to be let go,” Allen said, point blank. “Multiple times. I heard that you guys had that story."

Allen’s voice rose when describing his surprise at Pritchard’s supposed statements, as if to imply that he was caught entirely off guard, the smartest guy in the room totally blindsided by a situation that had been festering for months. 

That same self-presentation emerged later, when Allen was asked about criticism he received from National Basketball Players Association executive director Billy Hunter and union lawyer Jeffrey Kessler following an October collective bargaining agreement negotiation session. Hunter and Kessler said that Allen had “hijacked” the negotiation by showing up unexpectedly to “deliver a message” to the players on behalf of hardline owners.

“I wouldn't characterize it as polarized as all that but you always have that tension in any CBA negotiations,” Allen said.

Just like the Pritchard situation, Allen painted himself as an innocent, well-intentioned participant who didn’t realize the enormity of the situation he was entering until it was too late.

"It was an unusual thing,” Allen said. “There I am trying to say, 'Look, we as small markets need to think collectively in certain ways and hold the line on certain things.' They ask me to attend one of these face-to-face meetings with players, and I said, 'OK'.

“I go in there and one of the other owners says, 'We've got some real hard-liners in this group like Mr. Allen at the end of the table.' And I'm like, 'OK, here I am. I'm [just] taking notes.' So all the players looked at me like, 'Oh, you're the hard-liner?'”

The negotiations had stopped and started for months by that point and the players seized on Allen’s presence – he is the richest owner of an NBA team, after all – to push back against a rising tide of public sentiment that the players were being greedy by refusing to compromise on the split of basketball-related income.

Within weeks, Charlotte Bobcats owner Michael Jordan, another small-market owner aiming to remake the NBA’s system in his own favor, had become a public target too.

“Me and Michael [Jordan], I guess, took the lightning rod as being the hard-liners,” Allen said, smirking.

And, then, as if an afterthought, Allen slipped in a grand admission at the end.

“In truth, I did believe we should hold the line on some things more than some other owners did but there were a lot of us that felt the same way,” Allen said.

The questions and answers continued to fly back and forth.

Did Allen have plans to sell his team? No. Was he ready to make a detailed long-term commitment to his ownership? No, health concerns prevented that.

Was he ready to name another GM? No. Was Acting GM Chad Buchanan, who helped Portland add Jamal Crawford, Kurt Thomas and Craig Smith during the rushed free agency period, a candidate to get the position full-time? No, but he’s done a good job.

Does Allen simply want to be GM himself?

“It's really puzzling to me when I read or hear that people think that I want to be the general manager,” Allen said, raising his arms as he repeatedly exclaimed. “No! No!”

He then added: “I just want to ask the questions and I want a great general manager.”

Of course, Allen had no clear plan or even a firm timetable to get what he wanted, as his most recent search process turned up empty and he wasn't ready to commit to starting a new one. Whoever ends up filling the position will face a different era in the financial management of the team thanks to the new CBA.

Claiming that he had lost “hundreds of millions” of dollars during his ownership tenure, Allen said that his aggressive spending stops now. Maybe.

“I've invested a lot but the crazy luxury tax days and all those things are gone,” Allen said. “I mean, there's no enjoyment to losing money. I don't know anybody who thinks there is.”

Moments later, he left open the possibility that he would spend big again if it meant winning a title, something that has eluded him as owner of both the Blazers and the National Football League’s Seattle Seahawks.

“It's one thing to say 'I'm going for it. It's a near championship year. I'll sign a couple of free agents and spend a lot more than usual.' But to do that on a regular basis doesn't make sense.”

This year’s Blazers are a clean slate thanks to Roy’s departure and lowered expectations surrounding center Greg Oden, who recently suffered a "setback" in his years-long recovery from multiple knee surgeries, according to the team. The group that is healthy, headlined by forwards LaMarcus Aldridge, Gerald Wallace and Nicolas Batum and guards Raymond Felton and Crawford, promises a faster tempo, more end-to-end action and another shot at winning a playoff series, something Portland hasn't managed since 2000.

Allen sounded excited for the start of the season but he, like the rest of Portland, hadn’t yet processed Roy’s decision to step away from basketball, after just five seasons and three All-Star appearances, because of chronic knee problems.

“That deliberate but ‘you're not going to be able to stop me’ style,” Allen said, his eyes squinting back the emotion behind his glasses. “Just a fantastic basketball player, not just a scorer but a passer, a rebounder, a heady player. Players like that don't come along very often. I would always chat with Brandon in the locker room.”

The Blazers had declared Roy the team’s likely starting two guard two weeks ago, only to have Roy tell the team he was stepping away from the game the day before training camp opened.

"To get that news when we thought he was going to be in training camp the next day,” Allen said, shaking his head. “That was a body blow.”

Allen knows a body blow. He’s beaten cancer, battled a heart condition and felt the full force of the NBA media turn against him. And, for once on Monday, he stood tall and took some lumps from the media. When the conversation closed and the game finally tipped off, the fact that Allen had consented to let strangers into the dungeon with him, if only for a preconditioned half-hour, was a bigger surprise than anything that he said. 

Many thought that door had been closed and locked for good.

Posted on: December 15, 2011 4:08 pm
 

Blazers use amnesty clause on Brandon Roy

By Matt Moore

Brandon Roy's NBA career is over. And now, so is his cap hold on the Trail Blazers. The Blazers informed Roy's agent Thursday that they will be exercising the amnesty clause on Roy, waiving him and removing his remaining $68 million from their books. 

Roy announced his retirement last week due to his ongoing issues with knee injuries.  The amnesty clause means Roy will still be paid his contract amount, unless otherwise negotiated with the Blazers under the terms of his retirement. The release of Roy makes room on the cap for the Blazers to sign Jamal Crawford to add to their backcourt. 

LaMarcus Aldridge actively recruited Crawford, who's from the Northwest, all summer during the lockout.

Roy ends his career with career averages of 19 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists.  
Posted on: December 15, 2011 2:09 pm
Edited on: December 15, 2011 2:12 pm
 

Jamal Crawford to sign 2-year deal with Blazers

Posted by Ben Golliverjamal-crawford-blazers

A lengthy courtship has come to fruition. 

SI.com reports and Ken Berger of CBSSports.com confirms that unrestricted free agent guard Jamal Crawford has chosen to sign a 2-year contract worth $10 million with the Portland Trail Blazers. The second year of the deal will be on a player's option.

Crawford posted a Twitter mesage shortly thereafter: "rip City!!!"

To legally make that offer, Portland must move below the luxury tax line so that they are able to re-acquire their full Mid-Level Exception. That could come via a massive salary dump in a trade or by using the amnesty clause on guard Brandon Roy, who recently announced his decision to pursue a medical retirement because of multiple knee injuries. 

Back in November, Crawford told CBSSports.com that the interest between himself and the Blazers was mutual. Members of the Blazers, including franchise forward LaMarcus Aldridge, had been aggressively recruiting Crawford, a Seattle native, to add depth to Portland's backcourt, which took a hit with the loss of Roy a trade that sent backup guard Rudy Fernandez to the Dallas Mavericks on the night of the 2011 NBA Draft.

Crawford, 31, averaged 14.2 points and 3.2 assists for the Atlanta Hawks last season and was named the NBA's sixth man in 2010. The Hawks, after dishing out big dollar deals to guard Joe Johnson and big man Al Horford, and with forward Josh Smith on the books for big money already, opted not to offer Crawford an extension.
Posted on: December 10, 2011 2:18 am
Edited on: December 10, 2011 2:24 am
 

LaMarcus Aldridge undergoes heart procedure

Posted by Ben Golliverlamarcus-aldridge-por

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Bad things happen in threes.

The Portland Trail Blazers announced on Friday that forward LaMarcus Aldridge underwent a successful ablation procedure to correct a recurring problem with his heart.  
Portland Trail Blazers forward/center LaMarcus Aldridge underwent a successful procedure today to evaluate the status of the electrical system in his heart, it was announced today by the team. He will be sidelined for 5-7 days before he can return to practice. Aldridge, who was diagnosed with Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome in 2007, underwent a similar procedure to correct the problem at the time of diagnosis.  
Aldridge's diagnosis and procedure occurred on the same day that the Blazers confirmed that guard Brandon Roy would pursue a medical retirement and that center Greg Oden had suffered a "setback" in his rehabilitation from a Nov. 2009 microfracture that puts his availability during the 2011-2012 season into question.

Blazers Acting GM Chad Buchanan told reporters on Friday that Aldridge visits a cardiologist annually for testing and that an analysis of his stress echo exam revealed the need for an ablation procedure that "eradicated an extra node" in Aldridge's heart. 

"Going through his appointment with his routine check-up today they found a recurrence of that so they addressed that today," Buchanan said. "We expect LaMarcus to be back within a week or two weeks. The doctors feel really good about things. Obviously it's a little disappointing for LaMarcus but we're very optimistic that he'll be back on the court here in a short amount of time."

Despite the relatively good news, Buchanan admitted he had been extremely nervous. 

"Obviously LaMarcus was a scare," Buchanan said. "I'm not going to lie about that."

Aldridge, 26, was widely regarded as a 2011 All-Star snub, averaging a career-high 21.8 points and 8.8 rebounds per game.

"Thanks for the support everybody," Aldridge tweeted on Friday night. "I'm feeling better and will be ready to go in a few days."

The Blazers open the season on Dec. 26, when they host the Philadelphia 76ers. Aldridge's current timeline means he should be ready in time for opening night. 

Aldridge sat out the balance of the 2006-2007 season, his rookie year, when the Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome diagnosis was first made. 
Posted on: December 9, 2011 11:16 am
Edited on: December 9, 2011 9:15 pm
 

Blazers' Brandon Roy to pursue medical retirement

By Matt Moore and Ben Golliver

Brandon Roy (Getty)On Friday, Portland Trail Blazers coach Nate McMillan confirmed that guard Brandon Roy will pursue a medical retirement rather than play during the 2011-2012 season. As recently as Monday, the Blazers had said Roy would pencil in as a starter.

The Associated Press provides additional details.
Portland Trail Blazers All-Star guard Brandon Roy has told the team that he is retiring because of ongoing difficulty with his knees.

Portland players were informed of Roy's decision to seek medical retirement on Friday before the first practice of training camp.
 
Roy, a five-year veteran who helped the team shed its "Jail Blazers" reputation, has been dogged by knee injuries and surgeries. He has said he lacks cartilage between the bones in both knees.
 
NBA spokesman Tim Frank said Roy had not yet filed the retirement paperwork with the league.

Roy did not report to the Blazers' practice facility on Friday and his agent did not respond to a request for comment on any retirement plans, first reported by ESPN.com early Friday.

"I couldn't believe it," Blazers forward Nicolas Batum said. "I still can't believe it."

The reports contradicted statements made on Monday during a news conference with Blazers President Larry Miller, coach Nate McMillan and acting general manager Chad Buchanan. Roy had met with team officials earlier that day and said he felt good and was ready to help the team in any way he could.

But during a medical evaluation on Thursday it became apparent that Roy's knees were not going to be able to handle another season.

"It's a tough situation," said Blazers center Marcus Camby. "People will say `Hey, he'll get his money. But Brandon's a competitor."
Earlier Monday, Ken Berger of CBSSports.com reported that Blazers guard Brandon Roy was considering medical retirement in the face of repeated severe knee injuries. The report will come as devastating news to Blazers fans, despite the long road leading to this point. 

Roy has had injury concerns since he was drafted, and earlier this year, a consulting surgeon for Roy said that he only had 1-2 more years left in him. Many questioned the legitimacy of doubts about Roy's health after he exploded in the playoffs in a comeback win over the Mavs, who went on to win their first-round series against the Blazers. Roy had said as recently as July, Roy said he was healthy and ready to play once the lockout endedOn December 5th, the Blazers confirmed they would not be using the amnesty clause on Roy. 

NBA rules stipulate that if doctors clear Roy for medical retirement, his salary would come off the Blazers' cap after one year, though he would still be paid the full amount of his contract. If he were to return for retirement for ten games or more, the full amount would return to the Blazers' cap situation. 

It's an unfortunate ending to what was once thought to be a long and brilliant career. But the Blazers knew of the condition when they signed him to a massive extension, knew of it when he was drafted. It's the sad consequence of being human, that sometimes the body simply cannot give what we want.

Wesley Matthews is expected to take over starting duties at shooting guard for the Blazers.
Posted on: December 5, 2011 11:41 pm
Edited on: December 6, 2011 12:59 am
 

Blazers will keep Brandon Roy, no amnesty

Posted by Ben Golliverbrandon-roy

PORTLAND, Ore. -- The league's toughest amnesty clause decision has apparently been made.

The Oregonian reports that Portland Trail Blazers president Larry Miller announced Monday that the team will not use the amnesty clause on guard Brandon Roy unless he suffers an injury during the preseason prior to the deadline to waive players, which is still unknown.

"Our plan right now is not to use the amnesty," Miller told the paper. "We expect Brandon to be a part of this team when the season starts. He has been there for us, and we want him to know we are supporting him. [Owner] Paul [Allen] is on board with this and feels the same way.’"

The news comes just hours after Miller, Acting GM Chad Buchanan and coach Nate McMillan held a press conference in which they stopped just short of pledging that Roy, 27, would be back on the team.

Instead, the three men told reporters that they met with Roy, who is owed more than $63 million guaranteed over the next four seasons, and his agent, Greg Lawrence, face-to-face in Portland on Monday. The Blazers trio agreed that they were impressed by Roy's attitude and said that they were planning to see Roy in camp with hopes that he would be on the opening night roster.

"Brandon is in a great spot," Buchanan said. "I think he feels good. [He's] excited about the season."

Buchanan later added that it would take a "drastic change" for the Blazers to decide to waive Roy and that the team was approaching free agency with the understanding that their flexibility would be "limited" by their position in the luxury tax, a spot they could have avoided by waiving Roy.

Miller, meanwhile, spoke glowingly of Roy's mental and physical outlook.

"One thing that Brandon said today was that he feels much better coming into this season than he does coming into last season," Miller said. "His knees feel much better."

Roy underwent arthroscopic surgeries in both knees during the 2010-2011 season and played just 47 games. Following the surgeries, Roy moved to the bench and saw his minutes fluctuate. He posted career-lows in points, rebounds and assists last season.

"I think he had enough time off resting his knees [and] he went through his normal workout routine up in Seattle with NBA players, college players," Buchanan said. "He just made the comment to us that he feels really good right now. He's tested his knee in workouts, it feels very strong, he feels a lot different this year heading into camp than he did last year and he's very encouraged how his knees feel right now."

McMillan told reporters that Roy will be operating without minutes restrictions and that he hopes Roy will move back into a starting two guard role, although he noted that Roy told the Blazers taht he would be open to a reserve role if necessary.

"One of the things that you have to look at is Brandon going back into that starting lineup," McMillan said. "That's something you didn't see last year due to medical reasons. Brandon is feeling better so Brandon back at the two position is something that I'm leaning towards and making our adjustments from that."

Reports had surfaced in recent weeks that Allen had already made the decision to waive Roy. Miller denied that during an informal press conference last Wednesday and multiple team sources disputed the report in various ways, including on Twitter.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com