In the article Oden claims that he is just wanting to get out and play, which I am sure is TRUE... but saying "I JUST want to get out there and play" is what I call a media lie. Greg Oden is saying the right thing because he really isn't in control of his destiny right now. The good news is that Oden DOES WANT TO PLAY... that is what we all should be hoping for even the huge number of Haterz and Nay-sayers who seemingly get-off in dismissing our former #1 Overall pick as done for good.
After reading "Recovering Oden aware of 'Sam Bowie' talk" article on Yahoo Sports, I was urged to share some inside information that I have, and wanted to get the BlazerEdgers real response to it. In this article Oden is asked about his lack of extention and he states (paraphrasing) that he hears both sides of A.) a change of scenery is just what his career needs vs. B.) "you owe the Blazers four years" .....
One of my best pals and former room mate from college is now a Doctor of Sports Medicine living in the mid-west. His sports connections over the last 6 years would make most sports fans more than envious, I have gotten to see him ringside on Showtime fight nights, he gets to stand on the field for huge college football fields and ... well you get the picture. Last week while speaking to my friend on the phone, we were having our usual Blazer-talk and the Oden topic came up. He told me that he had recently ran into Mike Conley Sr. (Greg Oden's Agent and important mentor) and that in their conversation Conley Sr. was saying that Oden feels hated in Portland and that a new scenery is what they are hoping for. CUE THE FREAK OUT. Sure you might be saying this is hearsay, fine don't believe it. But I ask YOU, how would you feel if you were in Mr. Greg Oden's big shoes? It is on US as Blazers fans to DEMAND that Paul Allen spends the money to keep Oden around to show the NBA what he has when healthy and ready. The mental side, the fan support can be bolstered by us fans.
Patience is one of the hardest things for any of humans to harness, especially fanatical...fans. The local Media LOVES to hate all over Oden, as if they haven't ever had an injury or serious of injuries (I hope Canzano's knee heals quick, but if it doesn't we should call for his JOB) of this unarguable ELITE talent of a center. Giants aren't indestructible, and YES he has had a number of injuries but Greg Oden still has the high performance, top-of-the-line Turbo-Diesel frame and motor to be the biggest truck on the NBA-Block. How many other players over the past 15 years could you say that about?
Here are reasons that YOU NEED TO DIG DEEP and allow yourself to allow Oden to heal and stay around without tossing around all the B.S. Negativity that Chaz Dooshbag on the radio does, or my stupid uncle who is just a retarded drone of hatred about any small set back on the Blazers organization. We as fans need to believe that our team still has a shot to win a Championship some how some way. It may not be stars aligning but, a Championship would change Oden's career reputation much as it did for the Big Slurr (Bill Walton).
1.) Age 23. Greg Oden is still 23 years old, even though 4 years have essentially been flushed down the progress toilet, there are still potentially 7 good years on that frame. I'd like to get any and all benefit out of him over that span. Greg Oden WILL PRODUCE IN THE NBA. He will have a span of time where he is healthy and effective and it sure would be nice to get his Blocks, Rebounds, Post Presence, Dunks, Put-Backs, Alley-0ops, and miss-matches into our games.
2.) Its not our money, it's Paul Allen's. The #1 thing I can't stand about people like my uncle is that complain about "I can't believe "they" paid him (Roy or fill in the blank) that kind of money." I don't give a Rat's Whisker how much they pay these dudes as long as we A.) have a team we can be proud of and B.) are competitive Pay Oden whatever it takes to keep him here and get him under contract at a bargain price so we can be an elite team when he produces.
3.) Portland need size to compete against the NBA Elite and Win. Recently I heard Wheels talking about Portland's length and size being able to match up with the NBA elite in playoffs... without Joel and Oden adding depth to our center position I DO NOT BELIEVE this. We need Oden to truly have a size advantage.
4.) We all love Redemption! Let's face it, all American Sports fans love a comeback story and what better way to put this current Blazers era and the history/future of the Franchise in the hearts and minds of Fans world wide as the be the come back kids that everyone doubted, finally coming of age, getting healthy and WINNING IT ALL. Three years ago the BlazersEdge community agreed with my screen name "PORTLAND DYNASTY" now we are hating on the fact that Roy has bum knees and Oden never will be. Even though Aldridge is no longer La-Marginal, Rudy is still around, Gerald Wallace and Wes Mathews add toughness, and veterans Camby and Dre Miller still have a few more years in the tank. Watching the league this year, the old powerhouses aren't as powerful and the young teams that people are wanting to praise aren't that scary in reality... this is a wide open thing over the next couple of years. Portland could be the Cinderella story everyone LOVES in the NCAA's
I am certain we need Greg Oden around if this could happen in the next 3 years. "Small-town"(market) Portland would be heralded by the masses as the Underdog who DID! That is what I want as a fan. Join me?