Brandon Roy is not your typical NBA star. In fact, he’ll tell you the word “star” doesn’t even apply. But for a writer, Roy is everything you want in an interview, let alone a player poised to lead a young team into the playoffs.
One writer whispered the word as he passed by, with Roy genuinely taking his time answering questions after the Blazer lost at home a few games back to the Phileadelphia 76ers. Insert cliche’ here: it was a game they should have had.
Everyone knew it. Brandon – who had a non-typical Roy game – knew it. Yet there was no “both teams played hard”. No “we let this get away”. No “this is one we should have had.”
The loss hurt, but still.
No canned answers.
Last week after putting the hurt on the Phoenix Suns on TNT, the word jumped to life with Roy.
I was busy working on a story for HOOPSWORLD about the changes going on out West with the playoffs approaching. A team like the Suns – who are always postseason shoe-ins – likely won’t make it. Portland though – a young team on the come-up – easily will.
Times, they are a changing.
After getting some timely words and razzing from Shaq, I wanted to snag Roy for the piece. As I ran down the hall to the Blazers locker room, I thought for sure Brandon was long gone. Game had been over about an hour at that point. But opening the door to a nearly empty locker room, there was Roy – humble and real – still talking to a couple writers. Pretty soon, it was one on one with Roy.
And as we stood there talking about his days in Seattle, his infant son Brandon Jr., and how he came to know Shaq at the All-Star Game, I couldn’t help but think of that one word.
Most of the players had bailed. Writers were off meeting deadlines. The Blazers communication team huddle in a corner making late night plans.
And Roy just smiled and talked about basketball and life.
pic via: o-live