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Brandon Roy admits he has level III arthritis in knee. That’s not good.

Nov 22, 2012, 10:59 AM EDT

Brandon Roy AP

Brandon Roy opened up and was honest with the Oregonian Thursday about why he came back and where his knees are at following his latest surgery on Monday.

It’s not good.

Roy admitted that he was bothered a lot by the idea he had left basketball too soon, that he could have done more. He felt he had to try again, he had to know. He had to try again. But his body may be telling him it’s time to stop after his seventh knee surgery Monday on knees that, at age 28, are a step away from needing to be replaced.

Not just one doctor, but multiple doctors have told Roy that he should stop playing basketball. His knees are getting worse by the day. By now, at 28, he has had so many surgeries, so many treatments and seen so many doctors, he sounds like a specialist. He explains that he has degenerative arthritis, which erodes and eventually eliminates cartilage, with the same precision and ease that came to define his run of three consecutive All-Star appearances. And with the calm that made him one of the game’s best finishers, he explains that his knees have reached Level III arthritis. There are only four stages.

“Level IV,” Roy says fearlessly, “is when you get a knee replacement.”

Roy admits that this season could be it for him. And he admits that when he tried to walk away a year abo after the lockout he couldn’t. At age 27, he wasn’t ready to — this wasn’t on his terms. And really, if you saw how competitive Roy was during his All-Star seasons, you can understand why he wouldn’t want to accept this fate.

“When I was 40, would I look back and say ‘You quit because you couldn’t be the best player anymore?’ I didn’t want to get older and regret that,” Roy said. “And the biggest thing I thought about was my kids. I’m going to want to hold them accountable one day, and I don’t want them to say, ‘Well, dad, you stopped playing just because of this… ‘ I want to say, no, I gave it an honest shot. And that’s the reason I felt I had to do this.”

But now, it will be on his terms. He has accepted his fate.

“I wouldn’t be disappointed either way,” Roy said. “If it ends in three weeks, it ends. It’s over. I’m totally satisfied with what I’ve done. I know the sacrifice and the effort that I put into coming back. It took a lot of discipline to get to where I am. That’s all I care about: how hard I’ve worked. So I can’t say I’m disappointed, that would be selfish. I was just a normal player my junior year in college, and everything since has been a major blessing.

“I’ve had an unbelievable run.”

  1. goldmember21 - Nov 22, 2012 at 11:16 AM


    • 00maltliquor - Nov 22, 2012 at 2:52 PM

      To the 2 people (currently) who thumbed down goldmember21s comment, explain yourselves. How is this not so?

      • eugenesaxe - Nov 22, 2012 at 11:07 PM

        It’s sad he couldn’t man up, listen to all the doctors who have a clue, and accept that he is, was, and will be a broken-down human being.
        He talks like coming back for this embarrassment of a season is better than walking away with his head held high. He’s wrong.

      • hojo20 - Nov 24, 2012 at 2:59 PM

        I’m sad because I bet a buddy $50 Roy would play 50 games this season.

  2. Gordon - Nov 22, 2012 at 11:55 AM

    Time to hang it up & enjoy the rest of his life.

  3. raidmagic - Nov 22, 2012 at 1:04 PM

    Please stop now and enjoy the rest of your life and your kids. I can never understand having to walk away to young but it’s better than not being able to walk in 10 years. You’re a young guy, you gave all you could, take care of yourself now.

  4. money2long - Nov 22, 2012 at 2:20 PM

    “I was just a normal player my junior year in college”

    the drive and fight he shows now to continue his career and fight adversity is probably the reason he was able to even make it to the nba in the first place. he isn’t particularly athletic, but his hard work pushed him to a professional level. roy could be an motivational speaker one day.

  5. magicbucs - Nov 22, 2012 at 2:25 PM

    Very sad way to have to end a career but like he said he tried to comeback and that’s all he needed to do.
    Enjoy the rest of your life with your family bro.,.. Maybe he’ll get an analyst job on tv

  6. glink123 - Nov 23, 2012 at 1:13 AM

    hopefully he man’s-up about his contract and returns the $10 million he just stole, for playing a grand total of 122 minutes of basketball.

    • money2long - Nov 23, 2012 at 1:44 AM

      i wouldn’t call this stealing persay. the twolves did mention they expected a bumpy ride. they bought in on the high risk, and were pretty much bracing for this to happen. hopefully roy isn’t dead in the water yet and will be around for a possible playoff push.

    • eventhorizon04 - Nov 23, 2012 at 9:48 AM

      ….It’s only stealing if he hid his condition. Every team that met with him knew they were taking on a HUGE medical risk.

      I’m a doctor (yeah, I know, I’m a random guy on internet claiming to be a doctor, so you have to take what I say with a grain of salt), and I’ve said from the beginning, the treatments that he has received all help limit pain and inflammation, but don’t restore cartilage in his knees.

      Without that cartilage cushion, it was EXTREMELY likely that his knees would worsen due to the grind of an NBA season.

      It’s not a matter of toughness – he’s playing through pain right now – it’s that simply put, his joints are being worn down. I have no doubt team doctors warned the team this was likely, but the team offered him a contract because even the small chance of getting vintage Brandon Roy was worth the financial investment.

      The team took a gamble and lost. In a casino, if you bet a large amount of money on a hand of poker and lose, you don’t get your money back, and neither should the team.

  7. omniusprime - Nov 23, 2012 at 8:57 AM

    Really stupid the Timberwolves brought him on their team, they should have known better a year ago that Roy isn’t physically fit to play a whole season. Of course Roy only came back to play because of the money, he’ll never earn what he makes now doing real work in a real job. One thing can be said about Roy, he makes Bynum’s knees look really healthy.

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