Nov. 3, 2006
SEATTLE (AP) -- Brandon Roy couldn't count all the times he'd come to Seattle's KeyArena to watch the SuperSonics.
This time he came to play against them.
"I watched a lot of games here," the Portland Trail Blazers' top draft choice and former Washington All-America said before his NBA regular-season debut -- against the Sonics, who used to be his favorite team while he was growing up in Seattle.
Chatting with many of the same reporters who used to cover him when he starred for the University of Washington, Roy looked relaxed despite a hectic day that started with a morning radio interview.
"It's been a pretty crazy day," he said. "Now I think I'm ready to go out and have some fun."
Roy, who played four seasons for Huskies coach Lorenzo Romar, was in the Blazers' starting lineup in the backcourt with point guard Jarrett Jack.
He will play some point guard and small forward for the Blazers in his rookie pro season.
Portland coach Nate McMillan said he would like to use Roy mainly as a shooting guard.
The Blazers acquired him on draft day in June from Minnesota for the draft rights to Randy Foye via Boston.
In the preseason, Roy ranked second in the NBA and No. 1 among rookies by averaging 34.8 minutes. He averaged 14.8 points, 3.4 rebounds and 3.6 assists.
"He's a guy who has the potential to be an All-Star one day," said McMillan, who played his entire NBA career with the Sonics. "I was here when Gary Payton came into the league. I see Brandon Roy following in his footsteps."
The rookie 6-foot-6 guard knows NBA success won't come overnight. He was the Pac-10 Player of the Year as a senior, averaging 20.2 points for the Huskies.
"You've got to learn to adjust to this game," Roy said. "I've got to figure out my NBA game and what works for me. It's not going to come right away."
"Rookies don't come into this league and dominate," the coach said. "It's a three-to-four-year process. It just doesn't happen in the first, second or third year."
Roy received a rousing ovation from the KeyArena crowd that included his parents.