Dan Raley is the author of The Brandon Roy Story and has an excerpt of Roy's biography up on Hoopshype.com. Raley is a Seattle based journalist and is the author of two other books, Tideflats to Tomorrow and Pitchers of Beer. The excerpt from the book is a richly detailed behind the scenes look of the 2006 NBA draft night when Roy, a Seattle native, was selected number 6 by the Minnesota Timberwolves and then traded to the Portland Trail Blazers within the hour.
After shaking hands with Stern at the podium but curiously finding the NBA commissioner not very chatty at all, Roy was ushered to a backstage area at Madison Square Garden set up for nonstop TV interviews. A special credential was required for anyone else to gain entry to this behind-the-scenes electronic draft central. Every leading news organization had a broadcast pod set up: ABC, NBC, CBS, ESPN, TBS, and Fox. Drafted players quickly moved from station to station, slipping into a waiting chair, inserting an earplug and bantering with an agreeable TV reporter. It was a frenetic exercise.
Roy sat down with Seattle-based Brian Davis of Fox Sports Net, someone he had known for a long time, and the two started discussing Minnesota, a team that had shown noticeable pre-draft interest in the UW player. Roy seemed satisfied with the Midwest direction in which his basketball career was now headed. Then-Timberwolves coach Dwane Casey was no stranger, previously having worked as a Sonics assistant coach, and he and Roy had huddled together for an extensive pre-draft workout.
"It's going to be great, because I've known Dwane Casey for a while," Roy said in his interview, still looking a little flushed. "I just felt comfortable talking to him. We talked about my high school days. He's a teacher and I'm a student of the game. I knew when he first got the job, it was great for him. He did a great job for Nate McMillan (in Seattle). We just really clicked."
Roy let out a deep breath when asked about playing alongside Timberwolves forward Kevin Garnett, then the cornerstone player of the Minnesota franchise. One of the impressive things about Roy was that while handing out nonstop compliments and pulling stuff off the top of his head, he always had something interesting to say. Being genuine always worked for him.
Roy, the graduate from both Garfield High School and the University of Washington, would play as a Blazers for 5 Seasons winning Rookie of the Year and becoming a 3 time NBA All-Star. After the 2011 NBA lockout season Roy announced his retirement from the Blazers due to the degenerating condition of his knees - he lacked cartilage between the bones of both knees. Roy would try to make a comeback and ironically played his last season as a basketball player for the Timberwolves.
The sneaky shooting guard, who radio announcer Brian Wheeler called "The Natural" had many highlights during his career but one of the most memorable was the fourth quarter comeback during game 4 of the 2011 NBA playoffs with the Dallas Mavericks. After a disheartening start in the game Brandon made a three-pointer near the end of the third period to cut the Mavericks lead to 67-49. In the fourth quarter, Roy scored 18 quick points, including a 4-point play to tie the game and then a shot from the middle of the paint with 49 seconds left that gave his team the lead for good. Roy finished the game with 24 points to tie up that series.
Brandon Roy averaged 35.5 MPG, 18.8 PPG, 45 FG%, 34 3P%, 80% FT, and 4.7 APG during his career.
Do you have a favorite Brandon Roy moment or game that you remember? This would be the time to let everyone know it in the Comments section.
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