Monday, October 6, 2008

The Old Man in the Paint

It's been two weeks since I graced the pages of Fundamentally UnSound. I was searching for a story that has been overlooked. Then it hit me, and I found the story. More after the random picture...

The NBA preseason begins tomorrow (white people, time to practice your high-fives!). One of the stories that seems to be overlooked is the debut of Wise Lebron Greg Oden on Tuesday. Apparently, after ridiculing Lebron in his commercial, he saw the benefits he received and was able to successfully rehab his knee after training in the pool. Now, hopefully healthy, Oden looks to be the final piece that the upstart Portland Trail Blazers need to be a major contender in a tough Western Conference.

But I have a bigger question. It seems that Greg Oden is getting a pass for this season that this past draft's #1 pick, Derrick Rose, isn't getting. As with any high draft pick that comes with a hefty amount of fanfare, there's a general consensus that they will have their struggles and hit that infamous "Rookie Wall" as they adjust to playing with professional talent. In the case of Oden, he is receiving the media coverage that any veteran would that missed an entire year. Remember, he still hasn't played in an official game; much less, gone through the rigors of an 82-game schedule. There's still uncertainty surrounding Mr. Oden's ability to play in the Association.

I wonder why we're overlooking that this technically will be Oden's first season. Is it because he looks like he should already be retiring? Or is it because there's an understood acceptance that he'll be a force in the paint? There's no need to name the recent #1 overall picks that haven't exactly lived up to to expectations. The careers of top draft picks have fallen on both ends of the spectrum. From Lebron to Michael Olowokandi, Greg Oden's tenure in the Association will be placed somewhere between these two markers. Good luck, and stay healthy, Mr. Oden. Boom.


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