Okay, please bare with me. Let me very BODLY state that I HATE hindsight commentary. I hate the inevitable rash or emergence of "I told you so", "I always knew" or "I would of done it differently" that accompanies situations as their definition becomes a known adversity.
Let me also state and make clear that is NOT what I want to do, and that my admission is thus...At the time as a fan, and as a fan that was aware of Brandon Roys College knee problems, Pro knee problems, heel condition, I wanted Brandon Roy resigned. At the time, I was among the SUPER majority that were clamoring not for caution or thrifty long term economics in the resigning of Brandon Roy, but I was among those that said, "He's our Superstar. Sign Him.". I believed at the time that as a R.O.Y. and multiple time All-Star, if we did not sign Roy to a max contract, he would of been given that contract by another team anxious for a chance to obtain a very rare commodity in the N.B.A., ...a top star player. I thought we had very little choice, and that it was the correct thing to do. But that doesn't mean recent statements by Larry Miller in relationship to The Blazers negotiations don't bother me and here is why.
In the recent Q and A in the Oregonian, when Larry Miller was asked " How much did you know about the condition of Brandon Roy's knees when he signed his contract extension? "-The Oregonian
Larry Millers answer was: " When he was drafted, we knew there were problems with his knees. When we talked about his extension last summer, it did come into play and into the discussions. But at the end of the day, he was the face of turning this organization and franchise around. He was Rookie of the Year, three-time All Star - it just made all the sense in the world to give him the deal we gave him. There was some consideration given to (his knees) - but as we looked at it and talked - we decided he has earned this. He has earned this max contract regardless of what problems might come along."-Larry Miller
So what's my beef you might ask? Isn't Larry Miller almost exactly echoing my thoughts before the jump? Well "almost" but not exactly....
What bothers me in his response is specifically this statement: " As we looked at it and talked-we decided he has EARNED this. He has EARNED this max contract regardless of what problems might come along." -Larry Miller
IMO that is exactly the wrong attitude to have when evaluating a player for his NEXT contract. In my opinion, you should treat each negotiation restricted or free agent almost like it is a brand new player, and brand new deal-which it is...
You don't offer a Max Contract extending 5 years into your teams future to a player, (Even Brandon Roy) based on you believe he "EARNED" it...you look at the next contract as what is he likely to "EARN"...
Because, and I love Brandon Roy...BUT before he signed that contract with The Blazers...the truth is all he had "EARNED" was the right to negotiate for a contract as large as the one he did finally receive. His play had justified the right for him to ask for the amount he ultimately received...but before he received it? He hadn't yet EARNED it.
So now in hindsight, we are left with very real fears that Brandon Roy may never be able to EARN the contract that he signed...or more precisely perform at a level that commonly Max Contract players are expected to perform.
I don't blame Brandon...for either his condition today, or his obtainment of a Max Contract Yesterday. I don't even Blame The Blazers for taking the risk with Brandon Roy...and I still believe...I still believe that the ultimate jury is still very much out as to how much Brandon will be able to contribute.
But Larry Miller and The Blazers were wrong....if they gave Brandon Roy that next contract based primarily and solely on his performance BEFORE....the signing of the new contract. Performance before, should only be used by The Player, The Players Agent and The Team to determine what "likely" market value The Player would be able to obtain....but not looked at by the Franchise as his past performance has already "Earned" him this next contract. Because that is a subtle but huge difference between He Has Earned...thus we give....or we think He Will Earn...thus we give....
HIndsight Prophecy? Had The Blazers announced or failed to sign Brandon Roy, and he had gone to another team? I would howled like a kicked dog. I would of called Larry Miller and The Blazers a poorly run franchise. Even if Larry Miller would of announced at the time that negotiations failed because of longterm concerns about Brandons Knees vs. What Brandon wanted as a player....I wouldn't of bought it.
But that is because I'm a fan. IMO Larry Miller and whomever is negotiating with Brandon or whatever player, cannot afford to be a fan during negotiations. They have to be willing to look at the whole picture. Even if that means being less of a fan, and coming to the conclusion that it's highly unlikely that The Player will be able to perform at a level that makes his being paid Max amount a wise decision.
Do I blame The Blazers or Larry Miller for coming to the conclusion they ultimately came to? No as I already said, I don't blame them. It would of been a devestating PR nightmare...almost unrepairable to let Brandon go.
So even though I do not criticize the ultimate end...I do reserve the right to criticize the apparent approach that brought us to that end.