With the number 1 pick in the 2007 NBA Draft, the Portland Trailblazers select C Greg Oden out of Ohio State. A lot of you all remember when Oden was selected. All the analysts drooled over what potential the big man had. He drew comparisons to Bill Russell and Patrick Ewing he was going to be the cornerstone of the Blazers for years to come. There was a big debate as to whether the Blazers should select Oden or F Kevin Durant. Fast forward three years later and Durant is starring in the league and Oden is once again sitting on the sideline.
Greg Oden entered the Blazers organization with so much promise. He was tall, athletic, could block shots and occasionally score down low. But as high as the ceiling was on his potential, the ceiling seemed to be low on durability. Oden has never started and finished an NBA season. In fact, he hasn't even made it to 50 games once in his career. Just last year, he tore his patella tendon in his knee and was done for the year. He began to rehab after his surgery last year and he was about to return to action when, once again, his knees get in the way. It was discovered that he needs micro-fracture surgery on his knee and will lose yet another season.
Kevin Durant entered the NBA as the 2nd pick of the 2007 by the then Seattle Supersonics. At first, Kevin would get muscled out of the way because of his frail body structure. Fast forward to 2010 and Durant is one of the best players in the NBA and is now using his size to his advantage. The Seattle Supersonics are now the Oklahoma City Thunder after moving from Seattle and Durant is the face of the franchise. Durant was rookie of the year (2007-2008 ), has led the league in scoring once ( 2009-2010 ) and he is being mentioned in the 2010 MVP talk. Durant also is one of the reasons that the Oklahoma City Thunder are on the cusp of special things and he has been healthy all the way through his career.
If the Trailblazers could look into the future, I know they would have chosen Durant, but the thing is injuries are never able to be predicted. Now, when Portland sees Durant, they see what they missed and when they look at Oden, they see the broken down player they thought was their cornerstone for the future.