Greg Oden, a.k.a. Mr. Glass, is out for the year, AGAIN!

December 6, 2009

What could have been...

This has shades of Sam Bowie written all over it.  For those of you that don’t know who Sam Bowie is.

Samuel Paul “Sam” Bowie (born March 17, 1961, in Lebanon, Pennsylvania) is a retired American basketball player in the National Basketball Association who is probably best known for being selected before Michael Jordan in the 1984 NBA Draft.[1] He was a 7’1″, 235 lb center.

Enough said.  He was drafted ahead of MJ.  How do you live that down?  In the case of Greg Oden, he was taken ahead of KD, Kevin Durant.  But, back to that in a minute.

In 1984, Bowie entered the NBA draft, and after the Houston Rockets selected Hakeem Olajuwon with the first pick in the draft, the Portland Trail Blazers selected Bowie. North Carolina shooting guard Michael Jordan was picked third, by the Chicago Bulls, and would go on to be one of the most acclaimed players in basketball history, earning five NBA Most Valuable Player Awards and winning six NBA Championships.[5] Future Hall of Famers Charles Barkley (power forward) and John Stockton (point guard) were also available at this point during the 1984 draft. Portland’s draft decision is regarded by ESPN as the worst in NBA history.[6] Sports Illustrated called Bowie the biggest draft bust in NBA history in a 2005 list, arguing that teams should not draft according to current need but to a player’s potential.[7]

Now, I might not call him the biggest draft bust, in fact he isn’t the biggest draft bust on the Trail Blazers. (and no, I am not calling Oden a bust either)

nice afro, but the game was lacking...

LaRue Martin (born March 30, 1950 in Chicago, Illinois) is a retired American professional basketball player. Martin was taken first overall by the National Basketball Association‘s (NBA) Portland Trail Blazers in 1972, drafted ahead of future Hall of Famers Bob McAdoo and Julius Erving.[1] Martin has been cited as the worst first overall draft pick in NBA history.[1]

A 6-foot-11 center out of Loyola University Chicago, LaRue Martin entered the NBA with much fanfare in 1972. Martin set the basketball world abuzz when he outplayed Bill Walton in a game between Loyola and UCLA, in the midst of their storied title runs, in 1971–72. The Portland Trail Blazers were so impressed with Martin that they made him the first overall pick in the 1972 NBA Draft.

However, Martin never caught on in the NBA, and after the Blazers drafted Walton in 1974, he never had the chance. In four seasons Martin never scored more than 7.0 points per game, and he never shot better than .452 from the field. He notched both of those numbers during the 1974–75 season, when Walton missed most of the year with injuries.

Martin prematurely retired at the end of the 1975-76 season, one year before the Blazers won their first NBA championship (1977). In four seasons he averaged 5.3 points and 4.6 rebounds per game.[1]

Now that is a bust for you.  The thing that you should really remember is that the while there are better players, or players who are better, the injury thing is one that you cannot really control.  But, Greg Oden gets the Mr. Glass label from the movie Unbreakable, with Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson gives us the bad news for Oden.

Guess we will have to wait another year to see the future... He actually looks relatively young in the picture

PORTLAND, Ore. — Portland center Greg Oden will likely miss the rest of the season after fracturing his left knee cap Saturday night in the Trail Blazers’ victory over the Houston Rockets.

“He’s a strong kid,” said general manager Kevin Pritchard, visibly shaken by the latest injury to befall the 7-foot center. “He’s going to bounce back from this.”

The Blazers said Oden will need surgery. A timetable for his return was not immediately set.

“I’m obviously disappointed having worked so hard to get to where I was. This is a setback but I’ll be back. It’s in God’s hands now,” Oden said in a statement released by the team. “I want to thank the fans, my teammates and everyone in the Blazers family for all of their good thoughts.”

Oden, the No. 1 pick in the 2007 NBA draft out of Ohio State, has been plagued by injures his entire NBA career.

The 7-footer missed rookie season after undergoing microfracture surgery on his right knee. Last season, Oden sat out six games after injuring his right foot in the season opener against the Lakers, then missed 14 games after the All-Star break with a bone chip in his left knee. He finished the season averaging 8.9 points and 7 rebounds.

Oden lost weight during the offseason and was averaging 11.7 points and 8.8 rebounds this season as a starter.

“I thought he was the most consistent player this short season,” coach Nate McMillan said. “For him to go through this — it’s just unfortunate for him because he worked so hard.”

Blazers guard Brandon Roy said Oden spoke to the team at halftime, after he had learned of the diagnosis.

“He told us to keep fighting,” Roy said. “He feels like he’s letting us down.”

Hopefully, he will fight though this and continue to become the next big thing.  we was extremely consistent and he provided the Blazers with both offense and defense, something that Joel Pryzbilla cannot.  The first two cases with Sam Bowie and LaRue Martin were bad scouting and bad decisions.  Kevin Durant is an excellent player and a quality individual so far in the league.  He is the modern day Scottie Pippen.  He can guard 2, 3, or 4 on the floor with no problems and can chase down pg’s too.  But, Greg was and is an excellent talent too.  He can go left or right, due to the wrist accident his senior year.  He is a good free throw shooter and an elite shotblocker and rebounder.  Those factors are reasons to still have valued him higher.  At the time, Durant was just an elite scorer, not much else.  He clearly has blossomed into one of the best in the Association right now, but that is hard to predict.  The jury is still out here….even though some want to call the race after the first lap.

5 Responses to “Greg Oden, a.k.a. Mr. Glass, is out for the year, AGAIN!”

  1. […] Portland Trail Blazers Posted by Acrylic Sports on December 7th, 2009 The Portland Trail Blazers have had nothing but bad luck when it comes to the center position.  Bill Walton was injured most […]

  2. kishoka said

    “At the time, Durant was just an elite scorer, not much else”

    You could NOT be more wrong! Kevin Durants college stats: 25.8 points, 11.1 rebounds, 1.9 blocks, and 1.9 steals. Does that really sound like “an elite score and not much else” to you??

  3. Steve said

    actually, it does. He was projected to ONLY BE AN ELITE SCORER IN THE NBA. You know that he was about 210 lbs, right? No, you probably didn’t.

    Here is the assessment

    Weaknesses: Double teams have proven to trouble him as he doesn’t always read them quickly enough … While he is unselfish, he lacks the passing ability to create for his teammates … To his credit his isn’t a terribly poor passer but certainly doesnt stand out at this point in his career Defensively he is improving and showing a willingness to improve, but still needs to work on his perimeter defense in terms of his anticipation skills and footwork Has a tendency of bite on fakes when going for the block, so improvement on his timing and patience will eliminate this … Like most freshmen in college Durant will need to add more weight and body strength. He probably will always be on the slim side due to his narrow chest, but it shouldn’t hinder him much except finishing inside … Doesnt always take full advantage of mismatches, often Durant will settle for the outside jumper, granted it’s not a horrible alternative … Body strength doesnt allow him to finish after contact … Despite being such a dominate offensive force, Durant can go through stretches of games where he appears fatigued and won’t demand the ball … Gets pushed out rather easily on rebounds due to his body strength … Although not a major flaw, it should be noted that Durant operate primarily on the right side of the floor … Ball protection will need to be worked on as he can get careless with the ball

    so, that kinda seems what I said…elite scorer, questions about defense in the L. You should always come with facts if you are going to disagree…

  4. kishoka said

    Granted, weight was a huge disadvantage in rebounding, and still is; he’s still very skinny. However rebounding isn’t about weight only. It’s also about height, quickness, timing and whatnot. Durant is 6’9″ bare feet with unusually large wingspan. In 07 draft, his standing reach (9’2″) was second only to Oden by merely 2 inches (9’4″,) and was bigger than other 7 footers in draft. He’s fairly quick and has a very good rebounding timing.

    You suggested I should come with facts, I provided the most important facts. He averaged 11.1 rebounds among other things; which by the way was more than Oden’s 9.6rebs in college. A player’s other strengths can help him coping/overcoming his one weakness.

    Durant has weight issues, Rodman has height issues.

    Here’s part of Dennis Rodman’s bio:
    “Despite being at a big height disadvantage to centers and other forwards, he was one of the league’s all-time greatest rebounders and most tenacious defenders”

    Despite standing only 6’6.75″ bare feet, (6’8″ is his height with shoes on)Rodman was a 7x rebounding champion (92 to 98) Do you know how many great rebounding big men who were stronger, taller, heavier than Rodman who couldn’t achieve even 25% of that feat? (Including Shaq who was 7″ taller, 100lbs heavier, and one of the quickest and strongest big men ever at his prime.)

    Moreover, if you scan rebounding leaders in NBA today, there are only two small forwards who average more rebounds than Durant’s 7.2 despite still lacking in weight: Lamar Odom and Josh Smith; and both are a combo small/power forwards.

    In his only college season, I looked at the facts, stats, and watched him play and knew that he’s going to be an excellent score, a decent rebounder and a good shot blocker/thieve in NBA and I was right. You and the experts who thought of him as “an elite score and nothing else at the time” were wrong. Because even then, he was a lot more than that. Those are the facts.

  5. Steve said

    See, that is the problem when you want to try hard to be right, you force facts and non comparasions to try to prove your point.

    Using stats NOW to prove why you shoud have done something then is foolish. Of course, if we had the power of precognition, then sure, you would take Durant over Oden. BUT, in the NBA, the only GM who wanted Durant over Oden was Danny Ainge of the Celtics. So, I am going to go with everyone else on this, plus what I saw from him during games. As a basketball coach, one of the first things you notice is that on the defensive end and obviously on the offensive end, he used a lot of his athleticism to makes plays in high school, and AAU ball, with the Jaguars. That is not all that is needed to be successful. He clearly worked hard on his deficencies to become the player that he is. That was one of the things that the “experts” said he needed to work on.

    Lets not sleep on Oden’s resume either

    He was named Parade’s High School Co-Player of the Year 2005 (along with Monta Ellis) and 2005 National Boys Basketball Player of the Year, becoming the first junior since LeBron James to be named such. That is something that Durant didn’t do.

    But, here is the thing that you fail to notice. Do you know how many players put up big numbers in college and don’t do squat in the pros? too many to mention. This was not about denigrating Durant, it’s about explaining why Oden went number one. GM’s saw him as a once in a decade big man….and they still do. Before his injury this year, he was coming into his own.

    In high school, Kevin Durant was the number two rated high school player. DO you know who was number one? Oden. He was the number one player coming out of college as well. Those facts do not lie. Can you show me anyone who wnated to pick Durant in front of Oden? I gave you one with the Celtics, but no one else was talking that.

    Rodman arg is true, but not applicable. Rodman went to a NAIA school and was bagging food when he was found. A late first round pick is not the same as debating about the 1st or 2nd. Yes, he was a great rebounder, but you quoting about his career doesn’t prove squat. (especially since this article is talking about the mideset of GM’s DRAFTING, not debating about what they became. That is not even a debate.)

    Durant is a great player, was a great player in college and high school. But, coming in the Association, he was seen a scorer, first and foremost. Defense was not his forte.

    By the way, congrats on pointing out that I was wrong on Durant. Too bad you didn’t voice your opinions during the draft, when I made mine for the case of Oden over Durant. Why don’t you make the case for a current player?

    Why don’t you quote what they said about him coming out of college? THOSE ARE THE FACTS WE ARE TALKING ABOUT. Anyone can take what has already happened, and then reassemble the draft. Plus, why not go for the easier flawed argument and take Charles Barkley? He was only 6’4″.

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