Someone gave me an argument today that the Trail Blazers should have taken Durant over Oden in the '07 draft. When I heard it I realized that there are still people out there that think that. I've kind of forgotten about it over the last several months because I haven't hear anyone say anything about it. But it got brought back to my mind today.
I think everyone knows by now that Durant is an all star caliber player and Oden is not. People that think that Portland should have taken Durant live off of that point. But the problem with most NBA fans is that they think you can take 12 all stars, put them on a team, and that team will win the NBA title. People think that the more all stars you have on your team the better.
I've always believed that you have to have two all star caliber players to have a chance at the NBA title. The Bulls had that in the 90's, the Spurs in the 2000's, and the Lakers last season. The Trail Blazers have one all star in Brandon Roy and another all start caliber player in LaMarcus Aldridge. Now Oden in the future could very well be an all star. But the point is, the Blazers built their team right. They got their leader in Brandon Roy, the all star guard. They got LaMarcus Aldridge, their potential all star power forward. They also got Greg Oden, the dominant force in the middle. If you look at history, with the exception of the Bulls in the 90's with Jordan and the Pistons in '04 who still had a damn good front line. No team has won a title without a big man. But yet fans seem to ignore that.
Think about this. If the Blazers would have drafted Durant they would have gotten another scorer. They don't need that. They don't need someone else who can potentially score 25 to 30 a game for you. They have their leader in Brandon Roy and also LaMarcus Aldridge who can score 20 to 30 every night. They needed a defensive presence. Someone who can take up a lot of space on the floor and someone who can be effective on the boards. That's Greg Oden. People can make the argument that Oden and Pryzbilla are pretty much the same player because all they do is block shots and rebound and that they could have Durant and have Pryzbilla be that force in the middle. While that is a good point Joel doesn't have the offensive game that Greg does. Greg potentially can be the best center in the NBA. Joel, not so much. I think by the end of this season Greg will be amongst the best centers in the NBA. In two years from now, he'll be better then Dwight Howard.
The final thought I have is this. Durant is a volume scorer. Oden is someone who can control a game on both ends of the court while Durant can only control it on the offensive end. When it's all said and done, Durant will win scoring titles. Hell he may even win an MVP or two. The Thunder will be a good team and they'll make the playoffs a couple times. But they'll always be that team that always seems like they're on the rise but they can never seem to get the job done. As for Oden, he may not win all the individual awards and have all the all star appearances that Durant has. And I think it's safe to say he'll never win a scoring title or an MVP. But Oden will win championships. Unless of course the Blazers play the Lakers or any large market team in the playoffs then the refs will screw them out of the chance to be champions or play for an NBA title. But that's another story. But to sum it all up, Oden will win championships. Durant will win scoring titles. The Blazers did it right and if you don't believe that then in my opinion you know absolutely nothing about building a championship team or what it takes to be a championship team.