Thursday, November 22nd, 2012 at 2:20 pm  |  15 responses

Brandon Roy Has Degenerative Arthritis in His Knees

Multiple doctors have advised Brandon Roy to retire from the game of basketball for good, due to the rapidly worsening condition in his knees. But Roy refuses to give up on his career, health risks be damned. Check out this comprehensive, fascinating piece in the Oregonian for more: “To Roy, Monday’s surgery was more of an annoyance than a sign his career, and his knees, are through. He considered it a freak injury — caused by banging knees with a Milwaukee Bucks player in the Timberwolves’ last preseason game — and totally unrelated to the arthritic pain that had sidelined him in the past. The surgery was described as a ‘cleaning out’ of debris, and the Timberwolves and Roy both say they expected his comeback to include some pitfalls such as extended time on the sideline. [...] 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.’ So why do this? He doesn’t need the money. He doesn’t want the attention. He doesn’t need the validation. Why risk his long-term health? Why endure the pain? Why? Two reasons, Roy says. When he walked away from the Blazers and the NBA, he felt it wasn’t on his terms. And as a result he lost himself. This comeback, then, is not about rediscovering glory, or proving doubters wrong. He is searching for himself. Searching for peace. [...] It doesn’t matter if that triumphant return to the Rose Garden is delayed until March 2. And it doesn’t matter if he plays another game. He has found his peace. ‘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.’”

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  • spit hot fiyah

    didn’t we know this like 2 years ago?

  • Caribbeancop

    Please give up Roy unless u receive a Jesus Christ healing

  • Bojangles

    Brandon Roy should’ve signed in Phoenix for the vet minimum. All jokes aside though, this is an example of BRoy doing what he wants not caring what anyone else says. That’s commendable. One of my favourite players in the L. If this is the end, at least he did it on his own terms.

  • http://twitter.com/DPisWill DePaul Williams

    I have a lot of respect for this man. He did what he could to prove that he was not a ‘what if’ player (Penny Hardaway, Grant Hill, etc.). Although his comeback may have been cut short, I respect his heart for what he was trying to do. Like the great MJ said, “I can accept failure, but I cannot accept not trying.” Prayers and blessings to BRoy on his recovery.

  • BuenoWayno1

    i commend him on his persistence but he’s had knee trouble since high school. Brandon Roy needs to call it a day before he gets Bill Russel knee’s before the age of 40.

  • danpowers


  • bug34

    i like how everyone respects his “heart”, but what about his mind…!? and i think its bs that he has nothing to prove. why not just put basketball to rest, and raise your children? he might regret not being able to play a little pick up with them someday in the future

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mike-Gilbert/100001749589586 Mike Gilbert


  • errday

    retire that jersey, portland.

  • Redd

    Nope, last year he dropped like 20 in the playoffs and had it.

  • robb


  • spit hot fiyah

    i was refering to the medical condition, i thought it had been know for a long time now.

  • Mike From Spain

    Maybe there is a new treatment for his knees in 2 or 3 years. It’d be great if they could fix him up and he’d be able to play ball. But if he stays out that long… I don’t know about an NBA comeback, and certainly next to impossible after retiring twice. Wish him the best. BTW, Wolves should have kept him instead of ship him to Portland in the first place.

  • Max

    Its’s that love for the game.

  • Big M

    I have a aunt who had degenerative arthritis and ended up in a wheelchair by age 45, and she wasn’t playing in a professional sport that puts extreme stress on your knees. Roy needs to take care of himself and think to the future.