words & interview_Christopher Cason images_Zac Dubasik Brandon Roy's rise to NBA stardom is a testament to hard work and dedication. What makes you fall in love with Roy's game is the fact that he doesn't possess any overbearing physical attributes. His game is one of skill, craftiness, hard work and smarts, giving average athletes like myself someone to emulate. It's always tough for me watching the Portland Trail Blazers in action. Being a Chicago Bulls fan, it's tough to look at the building blocks of Roy and LaMarcus Aldridge and not get a little envious. With a few changes on the night of the 2006 NBA Draft, either one of them could easily be wearing the exact same colors, but be playing for the city of wind. Since Black and Red is my favorite color combination on a shoe, I always catch myself looking to see what Brandon Roy is playing in. While injuries have definitely impacted the team this season, and even Roy himself, he's still averaging 22 ppg and has the Blazers in the thick of a crowded playoff race in the Western Conference. After a 115-111 loss to the Bulls, I had the chance to catch up with BRoy about his shoes and his relationship with Nike. Christopher Cason: You've been in the Air Max Rise a lot lately, what are your thoughts on it? Brandon Roy: I like the shoe. They feel great. I love playing in the shoe. They [Nike] spent a lot of time making them comfortable, so for me, they're cool. The all red colorway is one that gets a lot of attention. Is that something you asked for? That's something that I specifically asked for. This year, the league listed the colors you could wear and as long as it's a team color [it's ok]. The first color I thought of was red. That's my favorite color, so I try to choose which games I'll wear the red ones and spread it out a little bit. They're cool. I think fans and little kids like them. I'm always asked about them. Did you have a lot of input on the "BR 7" logo? Yeah. I went up to the campus and we sat down for awhile and they drew up a couple of the designs and we just kept breaking it down. We took about a month to get it exactly how we wanted it, but we just kept breaking it down. I kept putting in input and it came out pretty cool. How often do you switch your shoes on a game-to-game basis? This year is the most I ever changed my shoes. Usually in the past, I wear a pair until my trainer asks me, "Do you want another pair?," and I'll say, "Yeah, sure." This year, I change them out a lot because I have a lot of colorways. I try to keep wearing different ones to put the shoe out there so people can see them. So, I change shoes just about every other game. I have about three different road colors and four different home colors, so, I been changing them a lot this season. With the hamstring injury, does that change what you would wear when you're training or doing exercises? No, I still wear my game shoes. When I'm around the practice facility, when I'm working out on the court doing exercises on my hamstring, I stay in the shoes I wear on the court. Describe your relationship with Nike. I wore Nike my whole career. I would say it's a good one. I haven't had to adjust to a different shoe. I'm happy that they've taken time out to work with me on shoes that fit and are comfortable. You know, eighty-two games, you want a shoe that's not going to mess up your feet. And more than anything, they have good people up there. I have a good relationship with all the guys there. What's the one shoe you could wear everyday? It has to be Nike and not Jordans? It could be anything. Jordan is my favorite, but if not Jordan, I would probably say any color Air Force Ones. White or Black. That's a shoe you can wear day-to-day.