Brandon Roy Has Degenerative Arthritis in His Knees

by November 22, 2012

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.'”