Has everyone read the recent article on Kevin Durant in SI? Has everyone jumped bandwagons and started wishing with all their might that the Blazers took Durant instead of Oden? I invite you to remember that a majority of the GM’s in the NBA would have taken Oden over Durant in the ‘07 draft. Sure, it sucks that things are where they’re at right now and I hope and still believe that Greg can stay healthy enough to hold down the center position and at least have as much success as Bill Walton (at least one ring with the Trail Blazers) had.
At this point, it doesn’t look good for injured big men in the Association (Yao, Oden, Griffen) but when you get the chance to grab an Hakeem or a Dwight Howard, especially when you already have a LaMarcus and a Brandon (a highly talented finesse forward not too unlike Kevin Durant and a team-leader/high-scorer 2-guard — both positions flanking KD’s SF slot), I think that knowing what you know in spring of 2007 and with “pristine” knee xrays and MRI’s, etc, that you take the potential game-changing center over the lanky college scoring machine out of Texas.
Does it suck that Oden is injured again? Yes. Do I care that his “secks-ting” of his mostly naked body to some fame-hungry smurf got leaked to the interwebz? Not really. If I was a 7-foot athlete I’d be smurfing some A-grade, prime smurf and sending her pics of my athletic abs & papa smurf until I smurfed her again too. The important thing to me right now is that he’s being diligent in his knee rehab and that he’s healing properly. I am most concerned that his patella split in half without the contact that originally appeared to have happened with Aaron Brooks. Hopefully they’re giving him his calcium supplements and keeping him off anything that impedes bone density growth as he puts in the work to get better.
Call it Sam Bowie all over again if you'd like, and it may be similar in the long run. Time will tell. I did think about how much easier it would have been to have gotten the #2 pick in ‘07 and have the difficult, challenging, risky decision made by the team who picked before us, but I still believe Kevin Pritchard made the best decision he could at the time. In the meantime, even after the recent losing streak and slipping in the standings, I am pretty inspired by the remaining 8-9 Blazers who have been able to suit up each night and keep winning though the adversity. To me, that’s what sports mean at this point in my life; something to not only get excited about as I root for my team, but to inspire me by their courage and determination in the face of adversity... Despite the let downs and set backs after such sky-high promises and expectations, when poop’s gone wrong, they’ve persevered and kept their chins up. And that’s something that keeps me going too. Have a good night. Go Blazers!