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Over at NBA Fanhouse, Bethlehem Shoals writes that he believes Greg Oden has been treated...

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Over at NBA Fanhouse, Bethlehem Shoals writes that he believes Greg Oden has been treated differently and that the world cares about him differently than other top prospects beset by injuries. Some excerpts below. Full essay here... ----------------------------------------- I'm a little concerned, though, that Oden is somehow afforded a degree of sympathy that other athletes don't get when they are busts, or injury-prone, or just generally get in the way of total world domination. Sports are about getting results; players like Oden get in the way of winning, or at least hold it up. If they have put in some valuable time, maybe we develop an attachment to them, expect them to return to former glory, or feel some sense of loyalty. Or who knows, perhaps a player who has put in some real time becomes that much more of a disappointment when they take to the sidelines. Bottom line: much of sports fan culture -- and in this, I include radio personalities, and other members of the media with about as much perspective as your average drunken fan -- delights in taking shots at losers, liabilities, cowards, and anyone else who fails to take the field. Or those who do, but dramatically underperform. ... Something about Oden makes him different. Maybe it's his dour, thoughtful personality; his intelligence and sense of humor; the Portland milieu that's predisposed to niceness; how key he was to a team on the rise; the shocking unfairness of how good Kevin Durant got, and how quickly; or the tyranny of height in NBA, which partly explains why he went ahead of Durant. No one likes to see Oden go through this again, hear the door creak shut on what could have been a brilliant career. And yet Darko or Kwame Brown, or Andrew Bynum, can become a running joke? Shaun Livingston provided us all with a shared trauma. We can't laugh there. We had no such moment with Oden. For some reason, we just happen to care. On behalf of almost every failed prospect who came before, that's B.S. ----------------------------------------- Do you agree that Greg Oden has been treated and cared about differently? Why or why not? -- Ben Golliver | benjamin.golliver@gmail.com | Twitter

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