Relegating Durant to the No. 2 spot in the draft has absolutely nothing to do with an inability to bench press 185 pounds during testing in Orlando earlier this month. The smear campaign launched by talking heads — especially of the radio ilk — following those drills and tests was ridiculous and pathetic.
Durant’s body will catch up with the NBA. The muscle will come. He reminds me of Donyell Marshall when he entered the league out of UConn. Durant is younger and once he is exposed to the kind of training program he needs, he will erase the doubts about being an incomplete player.
Watching Durant utilize his athleticism and length, while admiring his sweet jump shot and quick release are qualities best experienced in person. Durant will fill seats wherever he plays. He will be a community icon with tons of endorsements. If that locale is Seattle, he might become the franchise savior, the guy who keeps the Sonics in town — rather than packing their bags for Kansas City or Oklahoma City.
Here is where history meets the present. It won’t be long before Durant’s name is listed along with the other great wing players in the NBA, guys such as Vince Carter, Ray Allen, Michael Redd, LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and Tracy McGrady. All were among the top 17 scorers in the NBA last season, averaging at least 22.4 points a game.
None were able to carry his team to a championship. James got Cleveland to the NBA Finals, but without an inside force to match Duncan the Cavaliers couldn’t handle the Spurs. Kobe Bryant, the league’s leading scorer with a 31.6 average, can work individual miracles on a nightly basis but the Lakers are little better than average since O’Neal left Los Angeles. Now Bryant wants to be traded.
The nation grieved for those hurt, killed and affected by the Boston Marathon bombings. After one of the suspects was caught on Friday — following a day-long lockdown and manhunt — sports returned to Boston over the weekend.
On the other hand, Oden can walk into Portland, join Aldridge, Roy, Zach Randolph and Jarrett Jack and turn the Trail Blazers into a contender.
And that's why Greg Oden will — and should be — the No. 1 pick in the draft.
PBT: The Grizzlies' Game 2 OT loss to the Spurs was a tough pill to swallow after rallying from 13 down in the fourth quarter, but there's a silver lining.
Video: NBA from NBC Sports
Metta World Peace the weatherman
The Crossover: Lakers forward Metta World Peace gives the world of meteorology a try as he fills in at a local weather station. Let’s just say he has an interesting way of giving the forecast. Also, in Boston there is a bathroom that has rival team’s logos inside the urinal in the men’s room.
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