Thursday, February 5, 2009
Now that I don't officially have a local NBA team, I find myself watching other squads on NBA League Pass. I especially follow those teams with young, high draft picks so I can reflect on what having hope and aspirations for the future used to look like. As The Association nears its midpoint, frontrunners OJ Mayo and Derrick Rose are both tailing off, and now it looks like The Nets' Brook Lopez could make a late run at Rookie Of The Year honors. How nine teams passed on an offensively skilled 7-footer is beyond my comprehension. Of their respective teams, only the Nets have a close-to winning record and real shot at the playoffs. I still think Mayo will win it when all's said and done, but Nets fans (all 8 of you) have a legitimate gripe.
Another team I've found myself watching is the Oklahoma City Thunder, who are currently right down there with my local team for fewest wins in the league. They've got their own rookie stud in Russell Westbrook, who looks like a cross between Devin Harris and Rajon Rondo. While my local team is clearly tanking to win the Blake Griffin sweepstakes, the poor Thunder (and those hideous royal blue road uniforms) just don't have enough talent to consistenly win. I suppose poetic justice would have them getting Griffin because he's a local and can help sell tickets once the allure of having an NBA team wears off.
Personally, I hope my local team (I still refuse to mention them by name) gets some payoff for this lousy season they are subjecting their 12 remaining fans to.
Anyways, Thunder forward Kevin Durant (DC stand up!) looks like a future Hall of Famer. To only be 19 years old and weigh merely a buck twenty, it's amazing that he is the focal point of his team and scores a lot of points (25ppg) while shooting a crazy percentage (48% FG, 43% on treys) on a really bad team. That's the definition of a baller.
Conversely, Portland's Greg Oden, who was picked number one over Durant looks like a bust. I know big men need more time to develop, but c'mon. This guy isn't even starting many nights, lives in foul trouble, and is barely averaging 8 pts, 7 rbs. He isn't one of the 5 best players on his own team. Depending on who you ask, he isn't even the best center on his own team. That's pretty embarrassing.
This could be the biggest waste of potential we've seen since The Group Home got ahold of that "Superstar" instrumental.
I'm not going to call Oden the next Sam Bowie just yet, but the parallels are scary. Bowie was picked one slot before the immortal Michael Jordan by the very same TrailBlazers, and went on to have a perfectly serviceable NBA career. But his name was always linked to Jordan, which made his average career accomplishments look like abject failure by comparison.
I'd hate to see Greg Oden go out like that, but right now, number 52 is lookin' kinda suspect.
Question: Is Greg Oden the next Sam Bowie or an I writing him off to early? Does Brook Lopez warrant mention for RoY is or is it still a two man race between Rose and Mayo?
 Yeah Ed, I know. I need to start a separate sports blog
 Boy Premo, think of all the other cats who coulda just murdered that track. But we get stuck with Lil' Dap and Melachi. Just lovely..
Tags Popped: NBA = Nuthin' But Africans