Hey I already miss the week of Oden, so I thought I'd throw some of my observations out there. I can't speak to his mental or physical health or anything like that. I don't have any inside information. But I do split a pair of season tickets with some friends so I got several chances to see him play in person last year. And what I observed was this:
Oden is a black hole.
Not a Zach Randolph black hole, where the ball never goes out once it comes in. But a "black hole" in the sense that he completely warps time and space around him when he goes into the game.
I can't really describe it better than that. I only see the same effect from two other players: Shaq and Yao ( I did not see LeBron this year). Oden is just so...massive...in the way he plays the game that every single other player in the game moves differently as they approach him. Driving guards veer unconscioulsy out of his way (unless they are trying consciously to draw a foul). Opposing big man put every single ounce of effort in trying to keep him off the boards. I swear he even alters the trajectory of the ball, which could explain his high rebound rate.
It's that almost intangible gravity that he has on the court that convinces me he will be great. It's something I absolutely don't see on TV. It's something I don't see in any of our other big men. He really does change the way the game is played by his mere presence. I've never been in the room when a major personality like an Obama or a Jordan or an Oprah walks in, but it is said they immediately draw every eye. Oden seems to have that same magnitude of effect on the basketball court. Frankly, I think he'll be game changer for that reason alone
Sorry if this has been said before.