As patently absurd as the Chris Paul trade veto was — and it was indefensibly absurd — it pales in comparison to the disappointment I have in the news that Brandon Roy is retiring due to his gimpy knee that has practically no cartilage left.
It's the end to a far too short career of brilliance. No, Brandon Roy was never the best player in the NBA or a champion. He was never the league's leading scorer or a highlight-reel dunker. Brandon Roy was never any of these. What he was was one of the game's most versatile, fluid and commanding players … and truly great before his body failed him.
Roy never had Vince Carter's athleticism or Allen Iverson's explosiveness. He never LeBron James' power or Chris Paul's vision. But Roy maximized every single ounce of talent he had and used his incredibly high basketball IQ to excel. He slowed the game down to his pace, never hurried himself. And no one could ever seem to speed him up.
At all times, Roy always look calm and in control. That's because he was. No matter who the opposition was or what it seemed to do, it didn't matter. Roy was going to make it his game, whether that meant dropping 52 points or setting up teammates to have the best years of their careers. The man just flat out owned on the court.
And in this era where players' egos have them either pushing others away or drawing them to fellow superstars, Roy never got all caught up in any of that. He played his ass off for a passionate Portland fanbase, never uttered a bad word about a teammate and led through both his actions and his demeanor.
Brandon Roy was quietly an assassin, a man overshadowed by bigger names playing under brighter lights in larger cities. But on the court, he was as impressive as anyone, and he never let the fans down with his effort or his performance. Unfortunately, his body did, and it's robbed both Roy and NBA fans everywhere of one of the best, underappreciated players the league has ever seen.
I wish nothing but the best for Brandon Roy in his future endeavors and hope the league and its fans realize just how important he was before injuries befell him.