Some suggest that the emergence of Roy actually saved the Portland NBA franchise. After a run during the late 1980s behind Clyde Drexler and Terry Porter, the team went a long way toward alienating their passionate fan base. They had a competitive team at times, but Blazer management was tone deaf to the desire of the community to have a franchise that they could be proud of off the court as well as on it. Instead, the Blazers pulled together a roster consisting of character challenged reprobates that earned the moniker JailBlazers for their frequent legal transgressions.
With the Blazers fans staying away from the arena in droves, owner Paul Allen finally had enough and cleaned house. The new management was given the challenge to put together a roster that would not only win games, but win back the Rose City fans. The acquisition of Roy will likely be looked at as the turning point for this effort. The Blazers acquired Roy on draft day 2006 for Randy Foye, and would go on to win the NBAs rookie of the year award.
Since that point, Roy has become the face of the franchise. The Blazers”who were 21-61 the year before Roy arrived”posted a 54-28 record last season. Roy has become the centerpiece of a talented young team had has not only become a force in the NBAs Western Conference but has gone a long way to winning back the Portland fan base. The current crop of Blazers is more likely to be found in the aisles at Home Depot or at Starbucks than in the police blotter, and the team seldom puts forth a substandard effort on the court.
Roys agent Bob Myers strongly suggested that Roy wanted to remain with the Blazers for his entire career, noting that he “is one of the unique players to have a chance to have that sort of relationship with one team.”
The Blazers now turn their attention to working out a long term deal with power forward LaMarcus Aldridge. Like Roy, Aldridge is in the final year of his rookie contract and a key component to the teams recent success. At last report, talks between the two sides are progressing.