Every sport has that athlete who cannot tell when his/her time is up in his/her career. The NFL had Brett Favre. The MLB may have Roger Clemens. But is twenty-eight year old, Brandon Roy the National Basketball Association’s player that doesn’t know when to call it quits?
Roy, who retired before last season because of ongoing knee problems went under the knife on Monday–once again for his knees. The Timberwolves guard had arthroscopic knee surgery in Minnesota, which will sideline him for at least a month. Roy has had significant knee problems his whole career playing more than seventy games in only two of his six years at the professional ranks.
Although his injury is not extremely severe and he will more than likely return to 100% this season (or as close as he can get), should Brandon Roy have come back to the league after merely one short season off from the sport? Will he make an Adrian Peterson or Peyton Manning-esque comeback? Or will he get knocked around like Brett Favre in his last season in a Minnesota Vikings uniform. Roy, who averages nearly nineteen points per game in his career is only twenty-eight–an age considered to be the middle of most NBA players’ careers.
On one hand, it makes sense to go out at the top of your career if you can tell that your best years are behind you. Sometimes you have to understand when you can no longer compete at the top of your game. Roy has only averaged 5.8 points per game in this season so far and only a little above twelve points per game in his last season with the Blazers. If you are not going to be effective, maybe it is time to consider coaching or analyzing from the comfort of a cushioned seat.
One the other hand, maybe Roy has something to prove to himself that he can recover from all of his health problems over the years. Or maybe he truly thinks that he can still compete and make an impact in the NBA. He could also have signed a two-year contract hoping to be a veteran role player for a contender. Let’s be serious, though. The Timberwolves are far from a contender. Maybe Roy feels that he owes it to the T’wolves for drafting him in 2006 and now he wants to repay the city and franchise. It is hard to tell what runs through much of the NBA players’ heads. There are some players that come back and are just as good, if not better, than when they retired. Look at Michael Jordan. He could still hang with the best NBA players when he came back. Look at Paul Scholes, the ageless midfielder for Manchester United. He was called upon by his old club and came through in great style last season. Granted, neither of them had the health issues that Roy has had to deal with.
In my opinion, I do not think that Roy should have returned to the NBA. I thought he left the NBA in a classy fashion, recognizing that his long-term health is more important than the game of basketball–something many athletes should put ahead of competition and championships. If his reasoning for returning is to prove to himself that he can overcome these massive hurdles then I am willing to jump on the bandwagon of supporting his return. I enjoy the way he plays but if I am going to have to watch a struggling Brandon Roy on the court I would rather not watch at all.
Can Brandon Roy return to form? When should he put basketball behind him? Let me know in the comment section or on Twitter @Believelander.
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