Jason Quick of the Oregonian, one of the better beat writers in the NBA, wrote a fantastic feature story on Brandon Roy and his decision to retire and all that went into it.
It's a touching story about an athlete coming to grips with the reality that his body simply wouldn't allow him to do what his heart and mind wanted so badly. In the story, you hear the Roy that made him so beloved in the Puget Sound - humble, honest and at yet vulnerable.
From the story ...
He admits it hasn't really hit him yet. He has internalized many of his feelings, and the subject has become somewhat taboo around his family.
"We try not to talk about it, and change the subject," Roy said.
But truth be told, he always knew it would come to this. He just didn't think it would come so soon.
His knees have bothered him since high school, when he had the first of his six knee surgeries that eventually left him without the meniscus in either knee, causing bone-on-bone friction when he jumped and cut.
Swollen knees became as common as blisters, but he was always able to play through it, sometimes heroically, like Game 4 of the 2010 playoffs against Phoenix, when he returned eight days after knee surgery to play and help the Blazers to victory.
"Even when I felt like my knees were giving me problems, I remember telling my dad that I have to play in every game because I don't know how many I will get to play," Roy said. "There were times my knees were swelling up so bad I didn't know how long they were going to hold up. So I felt I had to go for it, now."But it's Roy's last comment in the story in discussing his relationship with his fans in Portland and around the NBA that is absolutely typical of the type of person he is.
"You can walk away from someone who doesn't love you. And you can walk away from someone you don't love. But when the love is mutual," Roy said. "The hardest thing is to walk away."