Portland Trail Blazers

Portland Trail Blazers

To retire a number or not to retire a number. That is the question. 

And that the debate that Trail Blazers fans have widely debated in relationship to No. 7. 

The No. 7 was last worn by Brandon Roy in 2011 and since that time the number has been untouchable. 

Mo Williams chose to wear No.7 in 2013, but days later changed to No.25. 

In 2019, the Blazers traded Caleb Swanigan to the Sacramento Kings in exchange for Skal Labissiere. Upon arriving in Portland, Labissiere reportedly asked if he could wear No. 7, but was told by the team that it wasn't available. 

Not even future Hall of Famer Carmelo Anthony, famous for wearing No. 7 in New York, couldn't get his hands on it. When Anthony was signed he was given a list of available numbers, and No.7 wasn't on it. He instead chose 00.

The odd part about all of this is that the Blazers have never officially retired No. 7. There is no Roy banner in the rafters at Moda, but should there be?

On Sunday night, NBC Sports Northwest aired another Trail Blazers Classic Game, this time featuring Roy's heroic performance against the Mavericks in the 2011 playoffs. 

On that night, Roy went off for 24 points, including 18 in the fourth quarter to help the Blazers erase a 23-point deficit and pick up the win.

 

Two games later, Roy played his last game with the Blazers.  

There is little doubt that Roy is a Trail Blazers legend, but anytime you see his highlights or talk about his greatness the inevitable question gets asked: Should the Blazers retire No. 7?

The fact of the matter is, Roy is one of the greatest players to wear the red and black. While he never won a championship with the Blazers, or took them deep in the playoffs for that matter, he did something far greater given the time in history - He rescued Portland from the Jail Blazers era. 

The year prior to Roy's arrival the Blazers finished with a 21-61 record, tied for their worst record since the 1972-73 season, and their second-worst season in franchise history.

Players like Sebastian Telfair, Darius Miles, Ruben Patterson, and Zach Randolph continued to have issues on and off the court, and attendance was at an all-time low. 

Then Roy came along. He took over as a leader and face of the franchise from day one. He won NBA Rookie of the Year, turned the league on its head, and ushered in a new era. 

By his third season, all remnants of the Jail Blazers were gone, and after hitting the lowest of lows prior to his arrival the Blazers were now riding high. Roy led the team to a 54-28 record in 2008-2009, tied for the fifth-best record in team history. In 2009-2010 the Blazers once again won 50 games, making it just the third time in franchise history Portland had back-to-back 50 win seasons.

Unfortunately, the Blazers lost in the first round of the playoffs in both of those seasons, but Roy's status as the franchise savior was already set in stone. He could do no wrong.

The quick rise of Roy and the Blazers came to a screeching halt in 2011 when Roy's knee problems forced him to retire. His time in Rip City was short, but his impact will last a lifetime. 

Roy will forever be known as the man that helped save the franchise. The player that helped usher in a new era of Blazes basketball. A man the helped a city get over the Jail Blazers era. 

That is why No. 7 is untouchable. 

The Blazers know it. That's why they wouldn't give it to Labissiere or Anthony, and won't give it to anyone else coming through the doors in the future. 

There is something so special about the No.7. Should the Blazers retire it and hang Roy's name in the rafters where it belongs? 

Absolutely. 

No. 7 was Roy's then. It's Roy's now. It's Roy's forever.