Brandon Roy Still Hopes for 2012 Games
Wanting to rest a surgically repaired left knee, Roy declined an offer last month to be on Team USA's roster, of which 27 players are in a pool to be selected for this year's World Championships in Turkey and the 2012 Olympics in London. But the Trail Blazers star said in an interview with FanHouse before Sunday's game against Denver he might welcome being a candidate for the 2012 Games if Team USA then needs a shooting guard.
"I still hope so,'' Roy said of playing in the London Olympics. "Besides winning the NBA championship, that also has been a dream of mine to have a gold medal. But I kind of had to choose right now (whether or not be on the roster).
"If there's a chance, I'm healthy and playing well and somebody can't play that year, you never know what happens. I would love to try to play. If they are looking for a reserve, I would raise my hand and say, 'Here I am.' I would love to try then if the opportunity presents itself.''
McMillan, a Team USA assistant for the 2008 Olympics under Mike Krzyzewski -- and who will also serve under Krzyzewski through the 2012 Games -- would love to see Roy possibly be under consideration for the 2012 Games.
"We still have 2012 so the main focus is going to be that team in 2012, and Brandon is one of the top guys in the league,'' McMillan said. "You have to look at you and your situation and your health (then).''
Roy, who entered Sunday averaging 22.1 points and has been chosen for the past three All-Star Games, pondered long and hard about being on the USA Basketball roster. But he said he didn't want to put additional strain on a left knee that was operated on in August 2008 for a torn meniscus and still causes him pain at times.
"It was more health,'' Roy said of why last month he declined being on USA Basketball's 27-man roster. "I just didn't think it's the smartest decision for by body going through an 82-game season and playoffs. My knees need to rest rather than going out and playing another month and a half of basketball.
"I was invited, and I had to decline and it was a tough decision. I sat down and talked to just about everybody about it. My coach and my family, they wanted me to play. But I know my body and I know how it feels so I just respectfully declined the offer.''
Roy, 25, said it was difficult because he had to make a commitment through 2012. If it was just a one-summer situation, it would have been much easier.
"That makes it tough,'' Roy said. "If you go to the World Games this year, that's something like 30 days and then you go three years in advance you've got to make a commitment. I don't know how I'm going to feel (in the future).''
Roy said his left knee still "flares up a little bit'' at times, but it hasn't cost him any games. Roy's five-year contract extension, which will be worth about $80 million and begins next season, is not fully guaranteed for the final season of 2014-15 due to his knee trouble. It is at least 75 percent guaranteed and there are several not-that-difficult ways he can insure before then it becomes fully guaranteed.
Roy also had a right hamstring injury that forced him to miss 14 of 15 January and February games and kept him out of last month's All-Star Game. Although Roy said the injury is now doing much better and he had played in nine straight games entering Sunday, he did need to give USA Basketball an answer while he was hurt.
"I think it's up to each individual,'' McMillan said of Roy's decision not to be with Team USA at this time. "I know for USA Basketball, they've had interest the last couple of years and due to injuries and negotiations Brandon has been unable to participate in a training camp. One of the things they've decided the last four or five years is, if you're going to participate, you're going to be committed for the three years, coaches and players. He just hasn't been able to commit to it.''
Roy didn't endear himself to USA Basketball officials last year when he dropped out of mini-camp for young players primarily due to contract negotiations when he wasn't a free agent but was negotiating an extension. Still, Roy was invited last month to be a part of the program.
As for 2012, it remains to be seen how badly Team USA might then need a shooting guard.
Chris Tomasson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter@christomasson