As Trail Blazers fans reminisce about years past, Rip City often struggles with the balance of remembering the joy that the Brandon Roy, LaMarcus Aldridge, and Greg Oden era brought about, but then also thinking about all the what ifs.
Roy joined Nuggets forward Michael Porter Jr. on the latest ‘Curious Mike’ Podcast.
Roy and Porter Jr. were well-known in the Seattle area years before they made it to the NBA. Not only do the two share that connection, but Roy also coached Porter Jr. in high school at Nathan Hale.
The two discussed everything from Roy’s favorite Kobe Bryant moments to what a game day looked like for the 3-time NBA All-Star, and everything in between.
Roy recalled what it was like heading into the Draft Lottery in 2007.
"When I got to the Blazers, Greg came in a year after I did, and man, I remember… I had just won Rookie of the Year,” Roy said. “And [Blazers GM] Kevin Pritchard was like, ‘man, you want to do the Draft Lottery?’ and I was like, ‘No…’ And he knows I don’t like to fly and travel, especially in the offseason."
But Pritchard convinced B-Roy to represent the Blazers at the Lottery by telling him that he would be Portland’s good luck charm.
Coming off a 32-50 season, Portland held a 5.3% chance of obtaining the No. 1 pick that year.
But any odds are better than no odds and the team jumped six picks and won the lottery.
“We’re going to be like [the] 7th [pick]. So I was thinking like, man whatever. And I get there and we end up getting the No. 1 pick,” Roy explained with a smile. "And I was like, ‘Oh man, I am the good luck charm."
At the time, there were only two answers: Greg Oden or Kevin Durant. So the decision came down to pair Aldridge with a center down low or get Roy some perimeter help.
Roy admitted to Porter Jr. that he still has that jersey that was given to him at the Draft Lottery show that said "Blazers with the No. 1 pick."
The former Blazers shooting guard also discussed what he saw in Oden the first time he worked out with him.
“This [was] a different NBA... You still post-up, you still play with the big,” Roy said.
And as Blazers Palace’s Twitter points out, Roy, of course, discussed that championship feeling he had when on the court with Oden.
Roy reminisced about a phone call he had with his father who had asked about the No. 1 pick.
“I remember I called my dad and he was like, ‘Well, how good is he?’ And I was like, ‘We can win a championship.’ For the first time in my life playing with him, I was like we could win a championship. He was that good."
The trio of Roy, Oden, and Aldridge held a 50-12 overall record when all three were healthy enough to play together.
Roy even mentioned how his game changed because he was bored at times with Oden doing so much of the work on both ends.
“I was telling [head coach] Nate [McMillan], I’m kind of bored because Greg does so much, even defensively. I’m guarding dudes and our help defense don’t really have to help because he helps on everything,” Roy joked. “So I started learning, ‘Okay, I’m going to leak out.’ I started getting more transition stuff because I know that Greg’s going to get the board.”
The now 37-year old also added that he and Aldridge had to learn how to play with Oden since there was so much attention on the big man down low.
But Roy wants the NBA world to know this about Greg Oden:
“He was a special player. I hate when people try to say stuff, [saying] he was a bust. He was injured. But if was never injured there’s no way in hell he was a bust. He had a Hall of Fame talent… He had everything. I just wish the world would’ve got a chance to see that.”