How the hell did Brandon Roy go from superstar to liability in the course of a few short months? The man saddled with the responsibility to carry this franchise from Jail Blazers to model citizens, has made an abrupt decline—on and off the court—this season. As the Blazers slowly slide towards irrelevance—and a seat at the NBA draft lottery—Roy's once-famous mild demeanor has given way to the frustrated comments of a declining All-Star with a pair of damaged knees that is taking out his issues on his supporting cast. (It's been awhile since I stood next to his locker after a game, but I half expect to see Roy's famous "stay humble" post-it note replaced with one that reads "be a jerk to everyone.")
No meniscus, no problem, right? In the past week Roy reportedly complained about his capped minutes, then not-so-secretly moaned about Andre Miller slowing his roll, and then finally he (allegedly) asked for Miller to be traded. That's bad form for a team leader, especially one who looks horrendous on the court—actually, he just looks injured, a hurt player unwilling to acknowledge that his limitations. In four of his past five games Roy has failed to hit the double-digit mark in points, and his defense has been even worse. Also, when you consider his max deal contract on the books and past (and future) injuries, it's a really bad time for Roy to make a "Me or Miller" demand of the front office. That's like asking for a raise after you've been caught stealing from the cash register.
Did Blazers fans create a monster when giving the man a standing ovation for his heroic Willis Reed-esque return to the playoffs just eight days removed from surgery? Nowadays, most Portland fans would give Roy an ovation if he just came to terms with the situation, rested the sad remnants of his knees, and came off the bench as everyone agrees he should. While Greg Oden is a man swallowed whole by his physical ailments—a player who seems unwilling to get better—Roy falls on the opposite end of the spectrum, an injured player unwilling to stop playing.
Until now, that is. Finally, some good (I guess) news: This morning it was announced that Roy will sit for the next three games and have his left knee re-evaluated sometime next week. No telling if that decision came from Roy himself, or if the team finally stepped in and made him rest.
The Blazers take on the Minnesota Timbverwolves tonight, follow on here on Blogtown as I live blog the game.