Portland’s Draft Woes

As I said in an earlier post, KD is doing what took MJ 5 years. That’s leading the league in scoring as well as his team to a conference final. A similarity between these two players is that on draft night the Portland Trail Blazers had a chance to pick both of these players. They could have been the ones with the Jordan legacy, they could have been home to the best basketball player in the history of the NBA. Instead they took Sam Bowie. They could have been the ones with the leagues leading scorer, and youngest superstar but instead they have an injured center on their hands. While Kevin Durant is flourishing in Oklahoma, Greg Oden is rotting on the bench.

Sam Bowie was a high school and college sensation, he was 7’1, 235lbs. He was supposed to take the Blazers to a finals appearance. Instead he averaged a small 10 points and 8 rebounds in his rookie season, as supposed to 28 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 and a half steals per game. Sam Bowie went on to play only 63 games in his next 4 seasons. He was then traded to the Nets with a first round pick. In New Jersey he had his best seasons, averaging 12 points and 9 rebounds. Then he was traded to the Lakers, and after two injury riddled seasons he retired. Michael Jordan’s career we all know was much different. He led the league in scoring 10 different seasons. He led the Bulls to 6 NBA championships, he was finals MVP 6 times, he was the NBA MVP 5 times, he led the league in steals 3 times, he was a 14 time NBA all star, he was 3 time NBA all star MVP, and most of all he went to the hall of fame as the best player to ever play the game. I think it’s safe to say that Portland really messed up with that draft pick.

Then we have the 2007 draft. Portland had the number one pick, Seattle had the number 2 pick. It was down to the 7’0 center, Greg Oden and the 6’10 small forward Kevin Durant. Who would take who? KD and Greg both made 1st team all American in their freshman years in college. Greg Oden for Ohio State and Kevin Durant with Texas. When draft night came around the Trail Blazers took Greg Oden, leaving Seattle with Kevin Durant. This is where they went wrong. Greg Oden has played only 63 games in 3 seasons in the NBA. He has scored 540 points, recorded 424 rebounds and blocked 69 shots in his NBA career. Portland has been disappointed by his injuries but have faith that he can develop into an all-star once he gets back. We all know where Kevin Durant has gone with his career. He won the rookie of the year in his first season. Averaging 20 points, 4 rebounds and 2 assists. Since then he has led the league in scoring two years in a row, while leading his team to the conference finals this year. I think it’s safe to say that Portland really messed up with that draft pick as well.

Phil Jackson said that nobody can be compared to Michael Jordan, but Kevin Durant and Michael are not that different.

One thought on “Portland’s Draft Woes

  1. Compelling comparison. The jury is definitely out on Greg Oden – some believe he can still be great, others think his body can’t hold up and that injuries will continue to plague him. I think in both draft cases, Portland felt compelled to go with the position they needed most as opposed to the ‘best available” player. Both draft choices were centers, which is still the rarest of superstar position, so it’s understandable why teams are always attracted to size. One note – the first person chosen Jordan’s year was Hakeem Olajuwon. I don’t think anyone faults Houston for not choosing Jordan!

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