Ball Don't Lie - NBA

On Monday, YSB contributor Nick Friedell went one-on-one with Portland Trail Blazers guard Brandon Roy, discussing game winners, President-elect Obama, Seattle's shipping docks and the 2012 Olympics.

Ball Don't Lie: Was last Thursday night's game the craziest of your career?

Brandon Roy: Oh yeah. (Smiles) Yeah, that was the craziest game I've ever been a part of. Here I thought I won a game [after the shot that went in with 1.9 seconds left], and I foul [Yao, and I thought I] lost the game, came back [hit the shot at the buzzer] and ended up winning the game. Yeah, that was the most emotional game I've ever been a part of. Not by far, I've been through a couple [emotional] college games but that was definitely my most emotional game as a pro ... and my first game winner.

BDL: How does it feel to make your first game winner in the NBA?

BR: It's great. I had a few [over the last couple of seasons] where I tied games, but that was my first one to win. That's huge. It's huge for my confidence, especially down the stretch of games, I feel like I have the confidence to take big shots, so that's big for me.

BDL: You said after last Thursday's game that your shots didn't mean anything compared to what Obama accomplished. Has he inspired you to get into a political career down the line?

BR: I wouldn't say he's inspired me to get into a political career, but I think he's inspired this season to be a role model, something I wanted to do beforehand, and now that I see him, how much he motivates people that I'm around, that are in the NBA, it's inspiring for me. I think the message for him is, he can't carry all African-Americans, he needs us to step up also, and be leaders in our community, and that's what I'm trying to do.

BDL: Melo said he wanted to score 44 points after the election to honor Obama, do you have any special tributes like that planned?

BR: (Smiles) No, I never thought of that. I just think what [Obama] did is amazing. I can't think of anything personally [like that] that I wanted to do for him. It would be an honor to hopefully meet him one day, just to meet the first African-American President. But, no, I can't say I'm gonna go for 44. (Smiles) I mean who knows, if I score 44 it's for him, but I'm not going to say I'm going to shoot for it, because that's never really been my game.

BDL: Switching gears completely, you have one of the coolest wedding proposal stories I've ever heard of ... a few of my buddies are getting engaged soon, do you have any advice for them?

BR: (Smiles) I would just say do some something that would probably surprise your woman.

BDL: So you really just put your proposal together on the spot?

BR: Yeah it was free-style. (Smiles) I just did it when I felt like doing it.

BDL: Your AAU team was called Team YES, where did that come from?

BR: It was Youth, Education, something with an S, I forgot. (Smiles) It was like seven years ago ... (Trying to remember) It was like Youth, Education and we just chopped it up into Team Yes ... We didn't want to say we were the Youth, Education ...

BDL: You didn't want to say you were Team NO ...

BR: (Laughs) Yeah, we didn't want to be Team NO, we were Team YES, it was pretty cool because it worked for us, everybody was like, "TEAM YES!" (Smiles) [The team] was good though, we had some sleepers.

BDL: You worked on the shipping docks in Seattle before you started at the University of Washington, do you ever go back there to see what's going on?

Travis Outlaw appears at this point. "Hell naw," he said.

BR: Actually I've been back once. No, I did (he says to Outlaw). I went back once to visit, because [the media] actually did a story on it and I wanted them to cover some of the people who worked there, they were big influences on me. I went back and it was pretty cool. Since you said that, I have been thinking about [going back], I want to take my son there when I get a little older, when he gets a little older, but I'm going to go back so he knows it was more than just basketball that made me. It was my surroundings, it was my parents, it was my community. I want him to see that, I don't want him to be soft. (Smiles) So, he needs to see the hard side of life [too].

BDL: Is your son going to be a pro down the line?

BR: I don't know. I think that was my dream, I don't want to put that on him. So, if he wants to do it, I'm all for it, but if not, I'm going to push him to go hard at whatever he does, that's how my dad [taught] me.

BDL: You almost declared for the draft back in 2002, do you ever look back and wonder what might have been?

BR: Honestly, never. I never look back unless people ask me about it. But the decision worked out great for me not to go. I spent four years in college and learned so much, and developed so much as a player that I think it's allowed me to have early success in the NBA, instead of maybe getting lost on the bench somewhere, coming out of high school. Honestly, I never think about [the decision not to enter that year's draft] I made the decision to stay [and go to Washington] and it just worked out for me.

BDL: I'm sure you've been asked this question a thousand times, but after that hearing that answer, I feel like I should ask anyway: Are you surprised that most guys continue to duck out of school early?

BR: Yeah, I mean everybody's situation is different. My family, of course we needed the money, but they sat down with me and they said, "Brandon, don't [enter the draft early] because of us, we'll be fine. I took that to heart and I believed what they said. So they allowed me to go to college and have that experience, that's why I'm always grateful that they were big enough to say that me. Everybody's situation is different. Some kids go, some kids stay and lose their draft position. It's really hard to say what one should do.

BDL: Seeing your teammate Rudy Fernandez and Dwight Howard out on the floor, do you dream about playing for the Olympic team one day?

BR: Yeah. Just watching [The Olympics] this summer, it was a dream of mine. I'm thinking, "Man, I hope I can be on the next Olympic team." It's far away but I'm going to keep working and keep trying to lay my foundation for why I should be on that team. It's a dream of mine. I see Rudy out there, Dwight, we were in Utah [the other night] and [Carlos Boozer, Deron Williams and Andrei Kirilenko] were getting their medals, So, it's definitely something I want to be a part of.

BDL: So are you going to try to speak with Jerry Colangelo?

BR: I think so. I don't know if it's [too] early because the last [Olympics] just ended, but Coach Nate was on the staff [in Beijing] and I reached out to Coach Nate [McMillan] and said I definitely want to be a part of the next team, so I'm sure he'll point me in the right direction, and talk to who I need to, and I can hopefully let my game keep talking for me. (Smiles)

BDL: Speaking of that game, how far can you and the Blazers go this year?

BR: As far as our young legs gotta take us. We feel like the playoffs are a goal of ours, but we don't want to just stop and stare. Hopefully, we can get Greg [Oden] back ... and we can continue to improve as the season goes on. We're not going to set a limit, we're going to continue to get better, the sky's the limit.

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