The Minnesota Timberwolves and president David Kahn officially introduced guard Brandon Roy during a press conference on Tuesday. Roy's contract is reportedly worth $10 million over two seasons. In a July 9 interview, Roy said he hoped to start for Minnesota. He will wear No. 3 for the Timberwolves next season.
"I feel very fortunate today that he's a member of our team," Kahn said. "I think he's going to help us in innumerable ways, well beyond the basketball court. In the locker room, off the court, we still have a very young team as you all know. His experience in our league plus the person that he is, the kind of quality and character of him and his family will really be a great help to our organization."
"I'm excited to be back in the NBA and be a part of this organization," Roy said. "It was a tough season to sit out. But after thinking about it, I wanted to start to prepare myself to make a comeback... I knew this was a place that I really wanted to be a part of. Not just with David but coach Adelman, the pieces they have here. I wanted to be part of a team that I could assist and really take that next step. I'm really excited to be here, my wife is here with me, we're excited to being a part of this community and we're excited to getting out, connecting with the fans, and putting a great team out there on the floor to give them something to cheer about.
Roy, 28, spent five seasons with the Portland Trail Blazers before the team used the amnesty clause to waive him in December 2011. He cleared the amnesty bidding process, thereby becoming an unrestricted free agent, but did not play during the 2011-12 season as he unofficially "retired" with ongoing problems with both of his knees. The 3-time All-Star and 2007 Rookie of the Year holds career averages of 19.0 points, 4.7 assists and 4.3 rebounds per game.
Here's a full transcript of the press conference.
Kahn's comments are the first and last statements in blockquote. Everything else is Roy.
David Kahn's opening statement
Better late than never. This one kind of came out of left field. It wasn't until late this spring that Brandon decided he was ready to come back to basketball after being away for a season. All I can say is that I'm thrilled that he chose us and not somebody else to resume his career. I feel very fortunate today that he's a member of our team. I think he's going to help us in innumerable ways, well beyond the basketball court. In the locker room, off the court, we still have a very young team as you all know. His experience in our league plus the person that he is, the kind of quality and character of him and his family will really be a great help to our organization.
Brandon Roy's opening statement
I'm excited to be back in the NBA and be a part of this organization. It was a tough season to sit out but after thinking about it, I wanted to start preparing myself to make a comeback. I didn't want it to be an overnight decision. So I decided to start working out for about two months before I would make my official decision to come back. After two months of pushing myself, my body felt really great, it responded really well. After doing a procedure down in Los Angeles, Regenicon (sp.?), an injection, I decided to reach out to some teams and let them know I was ready to return. I got a chance to work out in Los Angeles with coach Bill Bayno and David was there and we had a chance to go to lunch and talk.
I knew this was a place that I really wanted to be a part of. Not just with David but coach Adelman, the pieces they have here. I wanted to be part of a team that I could assist and really take that next step. I'm really excited to be here, my wife is here with me, we're excited to being a part of this community and we're excited to getting out, connecting with the fans, and putting a great team out there on the floor to give them something to cheer about.
When you made decision to retire, was it final in your mind?
Well, it never really was officially my decision to retire. With the process in Portland, I met with the team doctor, we talked for awhile, we have a really, really good relationship. He's a guy that's been working with me for five years with my knees. It was a situation where I went in for the physical, he thought it would be in my best interests to stop playing basketball because of my knees. We pretty much left it up to the team to decide if they wanted to pursue the medical retirement route. After a week, they decided to use the amnesty. For me, it was never that I was retired. My knees were a situation that I was going to have to think about if I wanted to continue playing. After a few months of sitting out, I decided, 'Hey, I don't want to stop playing basketball.' It's something I want to continue going forward with. It's never a situation where I said, 'I'm done forever.' It was more of a pause.
Tell us more about the procedure and how many minutes can you play?
The first thing that I noticed with the Regenicon procedure is the recovery. It really helps swelling. What it allows me to do is workout extremely hard and I can continue to workout the next day. If on Monday I work out for two or three hours, the next day I don't feel like there's soreness there. It kind of starts all over again. It really helps recovery. That's the main thing I was looking for. Just playing, I feel great. In the past, there would be days where there would be swelling and that would cause some stiffness. Regenicon has helped take that away. Now I can prepare and I can work extremely hard to get to the level I want to be at. It's worked really well. It's something the doctors have said it usually lasts up to a year and a half. It's all natural, it's something you can do as much as you would like.
What made you want to undergo that procedure?
I had heard about Kobe Bryant going over and doing it in Germany. I wasn't quite sure how it would work. Then watching him play this year, I thought, heck, he looked great this season. Hopefully that can help me. I wanted to wait. I didn't want to do it in December or January because I wanted to give my body some time to rest naturally.
I started working out two months before I even went and did the procedure. I wanted to see how my body would feel. It felt really good so I went and did the procedure. I'm not saying I'm Kobe Bryant but my body feels really good. I've been working out ever since, there hasn't been any swelling. I'm excited that I got it done. The main reason for doing it is that I wanted to play. My everyday walking around I was fine, but if I wanted to play and play at a high level that I expect for myself I thought that [procedure] would be necessary to do.
Can you be great again?
That's the goal. That's the only reason I'm coming back. I told David when we met, I said I wouldn't be coming back if I didn't think I couldn't reach a high level of basketball. You say great, I say high level. I want to play at a high level. Right now, my body is giving me all signs that I can do that.
Your play at recent summer pro-am?
There wasn't anything that I couldn't do. I was just excited to be back on the court. I played in pick-up games but that was the first game I played where we had referees and things like that. It was just exciting to be back hooping and kind of attacking and playing against somewhat defensive schemes and make game-related plays. I didn't hold back anything. A little winded, being the first real game. But I was excited, there's nothing that I'm telling myself mentally that I can't do on the court. I just go out there and try to make plays and make reads.
Other teams looking at you -- why Minnesota?
A big reason is David sitting here. Coach Adelman. When they came to visit with me, I thought the meeting went great. But then talking with people around the NBA, they said, 'If you have an opportunity to play for coach Adelman, you should do it.' They really believed in him and the way he coaches and the way he can manage players who have injuries, still get the most out of them.
And just looking at the team -- I wanted to be a part of a team that was good and that I could step in and help assist take that next step. It's not a situation where I want to be a tenth man. I want to be able to go out and work and be a big part of the team taking the next step. I thought the pieces are right here. David talked about a lot of guys that they were trying to work to get, getting Andrei Kirilenko is huge. The pieces are there, you can tell they want to go forward with this team, continue to improve it and I would love to be a part of that improvement.
How did you begin process as a player to determine where you would make comeback?
My first step is letting my agent handle it. We wanted to see what teams were interested. It was a weird process. I never really said 'I'm coming back.' It was, 'I'm thinking about coming back.' Just to kind of put feelers out there to see what teams were really excited and believed in me. Minnesota was that team. Along with some other ones. But they continued to call, watch me workout. When they said, 'Hey Brandon, sky's the limit here.' That really made me feel good. I thought some teams maybe wanted me to play a small role but Minnesota said you can come in and earn as big of a role as you want. That was really important for me.
Just feeling comfortable. They have coach Billy Bayno and Terry Porter, a lot of guys I'm familiar with. Easy transition for me.
Going back full-circle to the team that actually drafted you?
It's kind of funny. I go to my mom's house and she has the big picture of me on Draft day and I have a Timberwolves hat on. Being in Portland, it was kind of weird wearing another team's hat. Draft day was an exciting time. I went up on the stage, I shook the commissioner's hand and I did some interviews for Minnesota TV. In the middle of the interview, they were like, 'Cut, he's been traded.' [laughs] I was like, 'OK.' Here I was: 'I love Minnesota, Kevin Garnett' and they're like, 'cut, cut.' It was a little strange and then me and Randy Foye were in the back, he had been picked right behind me. We kind of talked, 'Should we switch hats?' I'm like, 'Nah, it's your Draft hat, it's my Draft hat, maybe we should keep them.' The people in the back end up giving us both hats. To go full circle and to go to my mom's house and see the Timberwolves hat and to know that's where I'm playing, it's real exciting. I'm just happy to be here and be a part of the organization for a little longer than 30 minutes. Hopefully nobody is yelling 'cut' back there.
Is this a playoff team?
I don't want to come out and put that pressure on the team. We have a lot of really nice pieces. The first step is to get everybody here and start to build that chemistry. [Kevin] Love is with the USA team, he's focused on that. [Ricky] Rubio, Kirilenko is doing the same thing with his [Russian] team. We want to get guys in early to start building that chemistry. I feel like with the pieces we have we can definitely take that next step to getting into the playoffs. We want to work to that goal, we don't want to talk about it. We want to work and prove it on the floor.
How many minutes can you play? Are you a 35 minute per game guy?
I think, even before I had any knee problems in the NBA, me and coach would always sit down and talk about minutes. It's a long season and you want guys to be fresher down the stretch. I'm sure it's something that me and coach will talk about. My goal is, yeah, I would still love to be around that 35 minute mark. Really, whatever the team needs. I don't want those situations where coach has to say, 'We're in a tough game but you're at your minute limit.' That was something I had to deal with in my last season in Portland. That was really hard. Physically I feel good. I want to play as much as possible but at the same time be smart because it's a long season and we want to be at our best down the stretch.
David, how much better do you feel about the roster compared to end of 2011-12 season?
I feel better across the board. I think we've addressed the weaknesses that were uncovered late in the season after Ricky's injury at the wing position. I think we've added ball-handling, shooting at the wings. We're very versatile. I think it allows coach to have a lot of different looks with his line-ups. He can go big, he can go small. He can play Brandon at the two, he can play Brandon at the three. He can play Kirilenko at the three, Kirilenko at the four, Derrick [Williams] at the three, Derrick at the four. The list goes on of guys who can play multiple positions. As coach demonstrated, he likes to go small and we can go small very effectively. If you watched the Finals last year, that seems to be a very effective weapon these days. I think we've addressed some weaknesses if not all of them. I still want to see what we can do later this summer, a tweak here, a tweak there, maybe even something big to make it even better still.
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-- Ben Golliver | firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter