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We often like to poke a little fun at the Trail Blazers’ penchant for retiring uniform numbers. Lloyd Neal? Really? Larry Steele? C’mon!
But there will be no doubt about the worthiness of hanging No. 7 from the rafters whenever the team decided the time is right. Brandon Roy was the right player for the franchise at the right time, and he will be fondly remembered.
Helping to lift Portland out of the “Jail Blazers” era and the image that came with it, Roy was an important symbol for the advancement of the franchise. Plus, he was a pretty darn good player.
He never led the Blazers to a championship, or even a playoff series victory, and he was with the team for only five years, but Roy ranks among the most important players in club history. We’ll rank him third behind Bill Walton and Clyde Drexler, and you could argue that nobody provided more memorable moments for the Blazers.
As for having his number retired? Well, if Dave Twardzik and Bob Gross are worthy, then the honor hardly seems adequate for B-Roy.
Friday was a sad, frustrating day for Trail Blazers fans, to be sure.
If you bleed scarlet and black, it’s understandable to be blue about the all-too-soon retirement of Brandon Roy and about the continuing uselessness of Greg Oden.
But, pause for aw moment to realize that as unhappy as the fans are about all this, it is Roy and Oden who face an especially difficult emotional time.
Imagine having your life’s passion taken from you just as you were blossoming into someone very special at your craft. How would any of us handle that blow?
And what of Oden’s predicament? Sure, with the Blazers penchant for secrecy it is difficult to know what to make of his latest setback. But we certainly don’t believe the young man is happy about spending even more time away from the NBA.