Top 50: Brandon Roy, no. 10
The definitive ranking of the NBA’s best players.
“You ever heard of the multiverse theory, Brian?…The theory states that there are an infinite number of universes co-existing with ours on parallel dimensional planes…Now, in each of these alternate universes the reality is different from our own. Sometimes only slightly, sometimes quite radically; the point is, every possible eventuality exists.” – Stewie Griffin. (While Family Guy has fallen off precipitously over the past few seasons, this season’s first episode, which dealt with the theory stated above, did not disappoint.)
The midwife shrieked with glee. Never before had her job been so easy. The kid just popped out, smooth, barely a push from his mom needed. It was as if he said, “it’s my time, bring to me the light–and I’m going to stay there forever.” Of course, for anyone that’s seen Roy Brandon play ball, that his birth mimics his game isn’t surprising. What’s truly ridiculous is that the immediate moments afterwards captured the essence of his personality. The infant pointed his little fingers and blatantly mocked the obstetrician’s mangled stethoscope. Arrogant trash talk at five minutes old? Roy Brandon wouldn’t have it any other way.
Flash forward to the present and it’s a big year for Brandon. His tumultuous off-season began when a Spanish rapper that signed to his fledgling label, Roy-alty Records, suckered T-Wolves rookie Ricky Rubio into criticizing his new general manager, Bill Simmons. New York Post reporter Peter “the garter snake” Vescey labeled it “The Spanish Inquisition.” Then, Brandon added insult to his injury-free career when he rejected a four year contract extension for max money, antagonizing the diehard Portland fans that are growing weary of his antics.
For those not familiar, a quick recap:
–Ever since draft night 2006, Brandon, feeling snubbed, has referred to Andrea Bargnani, Adam Morrison, Tyrus Thomas and Shelden Williams–all selected before him–as “Who,” “What,” “Why,” and “You’ve got to be fucking kidding me.”
–On his Twitter feed, Brandon noted that while he’d never taken a business course in college, he’d come up with a formula to succeed at endorsement promotion. “I’ve deduced that Stephon Marbury + Good At Basketball = Mad Money, like the bald dude on MSNBC that looks like a rabid squirrel,” he wrote.
–At the suggestion of a gawky, magazine writer Roy decided to ask all reporters to pronounce his name “Wah,” like the hockey goalie, in an effort to up his Q rating in tiny Portland. Efforts to remake the “wahhhhh-saaaaaaaa” Budweiser commercials were blocked by David Stern, because “pro athletes selling beer to kids is wrong; especially light beer.”
–It’s been rumored that Brandon stormed out of a Nike meeting, threatening to legally change his name to Roy Brand-One, a possible moniker for his potential venture into the Chinese sneaker market. Sources close to the Blazers believe he’s intent on becoming the NBA’s OchoCinco, if the NBA’s OchoCinco had a tattoo in Chinese letters that meant, “Arrogance Is Controlled Awesomeness.”
–Brandon skipped a home game against the Bobcats, claiming on his blog that he had a bad case of “plantar fascism.” That night, at an awards show, Brandon was reportedly seen cavorting alongside a nominated rapper. And yes, Drake’s “Coffee Cake” won the Grammy over Jay-Z’s “AOL 3.0 Blueprint”, Eminem’s “If You Say Pause One More Time, I’m Going to Kill You” and Kanye’s “I’ma Let You Ejaculate.”
When you add it all up, it’s only reasonable to believe that this talented band of bad apples–which includes the gun-toting Nicolas Batum and that guy with the “Steve to the motherfucking Blake” tattoo across his chest–might implode under such heavy expectations. One wouldn’t blame pessimistic fans for pining for the days of the Good Samaritan Blazers, typified by Rasheed Wallace delicately handing out towels to teammates, Ruben Patterson fighting for the legal rights of underpaid, immigrant nannies and the Bonzi Scheme, a triangular, step by step guide of how to properly treat members of the credentialed media.
Alas, it’s a different era in Rip City.
All that noted, isn’t it pretty amazing that Roy Brandon–with his buttery jumper, impressive midrange game, fearless forays to the tin, late-game heroics and teammate-improving intangibles–is still a top ten player in the league?
• Rankings are based solely on projected ’09-10 performance.
• Contributors to this list include: Jake Appleman, Brett Ballantini, Russ Bengtson, Toney Blare, Shannon Booher, Myles Brown, Franklyn Calle, Gregory Dole, Emry DowningHall, Jonathan Evans, Adam Fleischer, Jeff Fox, Sherman Johnson, Aaron Kaplowitz, John Krolik, Holly MacKenzie, Ryne Nelson, Chris O’Leary, Ben Osborne, Alan Paul, Susan Price, Sam Rubenstein, Khalid Salaam, Kye Stephenson, Adam Sweeney, Vincent Thomas, Tzvi Twersky, Justin Walsh, Joey Whelan, Eric Woodyard, and Nima Zarrabi.
• Want more of the SLAMonline Top 50? Check out the archive.