I’m guessing this won’t be a popular opinion around here, given some of the posts over the last couple of days, but here goes: Brandon Roy should play ball.
Pretending we know more than the doctors, trainers, advisors, coaches, players, and sooth-sayers employed by the Blazers and Roy himself is an amusing pastime, but patently wrong.
Logic, numbers, and common sense all trend against some secret cabal forcing or pushing Roy into playing against his will. If the Blazers thought Roy was in danger of blowing out his hammy, there’s no way they’d let him out there. He means too much to the organization to be our sexy sacrificial lamb, especially when the only goal within legitimate reach is a 6-seed or so. There’s precious little, other than a possible lottery pick next year, to be gained from angling Roy into risking a season- or career-ending injury.
Roy is the face of this franchise right now, especially since Oden’s knee/leg/karma is ranging from funky to foul. The Blazers know it, Roy’s advisors know it, he knows it. Dude’s smart. He has to know that there’s little to be gained in the eyes of management, and everything to be lost. I have to believe that Roy would shut it down if the injury were really that bad. I have to.
Sure, Roy has the warrior spirit. You can tell, watching him sit restless on the bench, or that off-key note of frustration in his voice during interviews—he’s raring to get out there. Roy is the anti-Stephon “Chinese Franchise” Marbury. But as much of the cold-blooded killer he’s channeling these days, Roy’s savvy enough to know not to risk his career fighting for the right to play Denver instead of Los Angeles in a few weeks. And you have to believe his handlers would do nothing short of roofying his Gatorade in warm-ups if they truly thought he was endangering his career.
So why not rest him until the playoffs, with the hope we even get there? Look, I love that we love our players so much. Love them to the point of second-guessing expert opinions from people who make many, many millions of dollars in order to keep guys like Roy making even more many, many millions of dollars. But for chrissakes, we’re approaching helicopter-parent levels people.
Why put him out there? Apparently Nate (or Kevin, or Brandon himself) needs to evaluate what, exactly, this injury is. Is it just a painful nastiness that limits him to 80% effectiveness for 20 minutes a game until we lock up a playoff spot? Is it, despite all the experts’ opinions, something much, much worse? Unless and until someone says so, I say let the man play. Let him figure it out. Until then, I’ll be over here enjoying my dinner of fingernails and cuticles. Oh, God… PLEASE.