FanShot

Simmons: Oden will probably never be healthy

22

The following is from Bill Simmons Trade Value article, the same one featured on the Main page, with discussion of Batum. The text below is from Simmons discussion of Andrew Bynum, but note the bottom 2 players on the list and the implication. Simmons: "A list of the most memorable centers and power forwards of the past 35 years organized by their first six regular seasons for "games played," "games missed" and "number of seasons in which they played 90 percent of the games." Dwight Howard: 489 --- 3 --- 6 Karl Malone: 489 --- 3 --- 6 Tim Duncan: 451 --- 9 --- 5 David Robinson: 475 --- 17 --- 5 Kevin McHale: 475 --- 17 --- 5 Charles Barkley: 472 --- 20 --- 6 Dikembe Mutombo: 471 --21 -- 5 Robert Parish: 469 --- 23 --- 5 Hakeem Olajuwon: 468 --- 24 --- 5 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: 467 --- 25 --- 5 Dirk Nowitzki: 444 --- 48 --- 5 Kevin Garnett: 442 --- 50 --- 5 Patrick Ewing: 438 --- 54 --- 4 Moses Malone: 428 --- 66 --- 4 Alonzo Mourning: 409 --- 83 --- 2 Shaquille O'Neal: 408 --- 84 --- 2 Yao Ming: 404 -- 88 --- 3 Ralph Sampson: 395 --- 97 --- 3 Chris Webber: 329 --- 131 --- 1 Andrew Bynum: 309 --- 169 --- 1 Bill Walton: 223 --- 269 --- 0 Sam Bowie: 207 --- 285 --- 1 Greg Oden: 82 --- 266 --- 0 What jumps out? First, the durable guys remained durable throughout their careers, with just one exception: McHale, who ruined the second half of his career by bravely (and some would say foolishly) playing on a broken foot in the 1987 playoffs. Second, anyone who missed more than 80 games and couldn't play in 90 percent of the games in at least four of their first six seasons went on to have injury-plagued careers. (That includes Shaq, who played more than 68 games in a season just six times and missed an average of 18 games per season.) And third, if you can't stay on the court at your youngest/healthiest/freshest/most energetic, it's a pretty safe bet that things won't change as you get older. It's straight DNA: Some dudes are structurally built for 82-game NBA seasons, others aren't. So if you make the argument "If Bynum can stay healthy, he's a franchise center," just make sure you also mention that we have 35 years of evidence that there's a tipping point when "If he can stay healthy …" becomes "… he's not going to stay healthy." We're there with Andrew Bynum. He's not going to stay healthy. If I were the Lakers, I would trade him right now. (Actually, what am I saying? They should definitely keep him! The guy is built like solid oak!)"

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