Oden vs. Durant Revisited

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.

4 Responses

  1. Dwayne

    Portland has made this mistake earlier by over-valuing a wing player on their roster in lieu of taking a highly decorated college player at a similar position. The last time they chose Sam Bowie instead of Micheal Jordan because they did not feel like they needed his athleticism or scoring due to the presence of Clyde Drexler. We know how that turned out for them and now this time around they believed they had the outside scoring threat they needed in Brandon Roy and again chose a big man. The Trailblazers brass needs to be fired for their poor evaluation of talent…Durant is 6’11 with a pure stroke out to 25ft enough handle to create his own shot and a scorers mentality which enables him to will himself to the line when his frame doesn’t indicate that he should be able to withstand the pounding. Durant has elevated a once moribund team into a thriving franchise with high expectations and a healthy fan base.
    I hope Oden can get healthy and resurrect his career somewhere but that seems less than likely and that is unfortunate for him and ultimately for Portland because instead of hitching their aspirations to a star in Durant they are attached to a stone in Oden and they are sinking quickly.

    • The GM behind that draft isn’t with the team anymore. He got fired last year I believe. My belief is you can teach an offensive player how to play defense better and get them stronger faster than you can teach a big man offense. A prime example of that is Dwight Howard. He is just now starting to have an offensive identity outside of just dunking the ball. I never would have thought that Portland would have missed twice, but they did and now they are paying for it.

  2. Nice article, really enjoyed the read. I think that people are being way too harsh on the Greg Oden pick for the Blazers. I don’t feel that the Blazers made the wrong decision despite the constant injuries and unrealized potential of Greg Oden. It is going to be tough for him to come back and he may never be in a Blazers jersey again. You can’t help but feel bad for the guy as well as the Blazers, so hopefully he can come back and have at least a somewhat productive NBA career. Also, you think you could check out my blog cuz I really wanna hear what you think. http://chrisross91.wordpress.com/2010/11/19/greg-oden-was-the-right-pick/

    • I read your article and left a comment. Let me know if it posted. I think that Durant and Roy could have co-existed. After all, Durant and Westbrook are co-existing and both need the ball in their hands. They are the highest scoring duo in the league.

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