You know, it’s rough being Greg Oden. I mean, the guy goes through a lot. He’s constantly compared to one of the greatest players in the NBA, all because he was selected ahead of Durant in the draft (like you’re supposed to be better than the players selected after you, hah!). He deals with more health issues than your 75 year old grandfather who had the drinking problem and worked in the asbestos factory while smoking three packs a day (as opposed to your grandmother who did all the same things and is fine). He’s sensitive. He’s emotional. He’s under a lot of pressure.
He’s got some folks on his side. An interview that paints him well helps. The usual throng of the Portland faithful there, who are the closest thing the NBA has to zealots. They’re pretty protective.
But one thing he did do to earn some flack was not showing up for Portland’s playoff games, instead hanging out at his mom’s house, with a reason given being that sitting on the bench was uncomfortable.
Well, Dwight Jaynes, former reporter in Portland, notes a conspicuous activity Oden got listed at. Oden was listed at the Hard Rock Hotel’s Rehab pool for a party, alongside MTV reality stars and the Three 6 Mafia.
But hey, it was almost a month later. Maybe Oden’s knee really was feeling better. Maybe he just took a pool chair and laid out in the sun, not doing anything. But it does add to the rampant conversations about Oden and how he’s perceived. He wasn’t able to be with his teammates in Portland, fighting for their playoff lives, until Game 6, but he was able to go “chillax” with the stars a month later.
You don’t know. It’s hard being him. He had to get up on that one knee and go get his drinks with umbrellas in them himself!
The Dallas Mavericks are looking for a center— desperately at times, they brought JaVale McGee into training camp to get a look. They will start Zaza Pachulia and behind him it’s probably Samuel Dalembert once he gets healthy.
Which is why Dallas may be the team interested in Larry Sanders — Mark Cuban is a guy known for giving second chances in the league. But there have been no talks, yet, reports Tim MacMahon at ESPN.
Larry Sanders has been out of the game since his buyout last February trying to deal with his personal demons and may well not be ready to return. He may never return.
His couple seasons with the Bucks were filled with drama and issues. There was the nightclub brawl left him with an injured thumb in need of a surgery. There were the charges of animal cruelty. There was a five-game drug suspension. There was missed time for personal reasons. There was the 10-game suspension for marijuana use (he failed at least four tests to get there) — then that suspension was extended past the 10 games. In the end, he agreed to a buyout to get space away from the game to deal with his personal issues.
He may or may not be ready to return from that. He may or may not ever be ready. But if he decides to give it a try, NBA teams will be waiting. Maybe Dallas.
Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and Serge Ibaka are healthy — just how good will the Thunder be?
The bold prediction in this PBT Extra preview with Jenna Corrado is that the Thunder will win 60 games, something they have not yet done. I wouldn’t bet on them hitting that number — with a new coach, and them making sure Durant and Westbrook get rest coming off injuries, plus the fact they’re in the deep West, that number may be high.
I think they have a better chance to come out of the West than win 60 games. I think they have a good shot to come out of the West.