Brandon Roy and Nate Robinson have known each other since they were kids. According to Robinson, Roy’s mother was their lunch lady in the fifth grade. There was a plan in place for both to attend the same high school “Garfield High School,” but per Robinson, he was on the Garfield waiting list and decided to join senior Jamal Crawford at Rainer Beach High School.
Growing up and throughout his professional career, Brandon Roy has been known strictly as a basketball player. However, according, Nate Robinson, Roy was even better at football before his growth spurt and selected basketball instead.
“Brandon Roy was a great football player, but he grew too much, and quit football to play basketball. He was better in football than he was in basketball believe it or not, and people wouldn’t even know that.”
Robinson should know because he was an elite high school athlete in three different sports, including football, basketball, and track. He won a state championship his senior year in basketball, also named Seattle Times Class AAA state player of the year in both football and basketball that same year. He would place second in the 110-meter hurdles at the 2002 state track meet.
The two would reunite at the University of Washingon and played three years as teammates. Nate Robinson decided to leave after his junior year to enter the NBA Draft and was taken with the 21 overall picks by the Phoenix Suns in 2005. As for Roy would stay all four years at the University of Washington and decided to declare for the draft in 2006. The Minnesota Timberwolves would select Roy with the 6th pick but would trade him to the Portland Trailblazers on draft night for Randy Foye.
He would win the Rookie of the year award the following season and for the next three seasons would be selected to the All-Star team. After his final All-Star selection, Roy began to have a series of leg injuries.
When he was healthy according to future Hall of Famer Kobe Bryant once said Roy had no weakness in his game.
“Brandon Roy has no weaknesses in his game. I told him I don’t know of any player outside of myself that has no weaknesses besides him.”
Jamal Crawford told me something similar to that earlier this year.
“I remember going over a scouting report when he was a rookie and my Knicks teammates were like: ‘what do mean no weaknesses.’”
“I was like: ‘nah he has no weaknesses.’ He can dribble, shoot, pass, defend, post and he does everything. He makes the right play all the time and I think he plays with his mind first when he was out there. That is why he was such a joy. Only true basketball purists appreciate how good he was.”
Former Sacramento King Doug Christie, when I spoke to him earlier this year could not stop talking about Roy’s athleticism. ”His explosive athleticism was downplayed because he did not depend on it”
“But the ability to knock down shots, the herky-jerkiness to create like IT [Isaiah Thomas], but as big as me and the ability for the moment. Also, a four-year guy that went to school all four years. So, when he got here he was ready to play.”
Today Brandon Roy turned 35 and we would like to wish him a Happy Birthday.