At 27, Brandon Roy’s NBA career looked to be over because of knee troubles. He reluctantly retired from the Portland Trail Blazers in 2011 because the problems were so bad he could hardly walk. But a radical treatment used by the New York Yankees’ Alex Rodriguez and the Los Angeles Lakers’ Kobe Bryant, among others, has give Roy a new professional life.
Roy agreed to a two-year, $10.4 million deal with the Minnesota Timberwolves, making it perhaps the most surprising transaction so far this off-season.
Roy had meniscus cartilage in either of his knees. Team doctors in Portland encouraged him to retire and seek treatment that would allow him to walk with pain, but to forget about basketball. But Roy tried platelet-rich plasma therapy, which takes the red blood cells from your own body, has them spun in a centrifuge, and re-injected. The results have been stunning, so much so that the Timberwolves inked him.
Roy, a three-time All-Star, announced his retirement last season after five seasons with Portland because of chronic knee problems. The Blazers used the amnesty clause on the remaining $63 million of his deal to make him an unrestricted free agent. After sitting out the lockout-condensed season, Roy is back.
Former GM Kevin McHale’s decision to make the deal that sent Roy to Portland haunted the franchise for years, as Roy emerged as one of the bright young stars in the league and one of the game’s top closers
“Welcome Brandon Roy,” tweeted T-Wolves forward Derrick Williams, who wore Roy’s No. 7 in Minnesota last season. “(No.) 7 is all yours.”
Roy was also being courted by Chicago, Indiana, Cleveland, Dallas and Golden State, but he ultimately chose Minnesota, where he’ll be relied on to be a veteran presence on a very young team while likely playing fewer minutes, at least at first, to maximize his production.
Team president David Kahn, owner Glen Taylor, coach Rick Adelman and athletic trainer Greg Farnam visited Roy in Seattle last week to make a hard push for him. Roy is also close with Wolves assistant Bill Bayno, who coached him in Portland.