You hear this all the time around the NBA now, especially the last couple days, “I wanted to pick Kevin Durant over Greg Oden if we had the chance.”
It’s crap. At the time almost everybody in the league was going to take Oden. It wasn’t close. True, there was a debate, and sports talk radio guys and online columnists were saying Durant because it is their job to stir up debates. But in the NBA circles it was Oden. You take the big, defensive-minded center that can anchor a team over the skinny shooter. Nearly everyone was sticking with the conventional wisdom.
Doc Rivers has my back. Remember the Celtics had the second worst record in the league the season before and expected a top pick that they could build a franchise around. Then the lottery gods slapped them across the face, Boston fell to No. 5 — which Danny Ainge flipped into Ray Allen, which was key to getting Kevin Garnett to sign in Boston, and away they go.
“Even though everybody changes now, we were all for Oden, and I think 98 percent of the league,’’ Rivers said. “But now I hear it all over our staff, I hear it everywhere, ‘Oh, no, we were Durant guys.’ I don’t believe that. I think we would have drafted Oden.’’
The Celtics were Oden guys, nearly everyone was Oden guys. If you hear otherwise it’s almost certainly revisionist history.