Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Is Greg Oden the Next Ralph Sampson?
NBA fans around the world have waited for Greg Oden to make his professional debut with the Portland Trailblazers. Tuesday night, Oden took the court for the first time in his NBA career, and you have to think that the fans were disappointed.
Granted his stats were not impressive 0-4, 2 rebounds 1 blocked shot and 1 turnover. However, what Trailblazer fans have to be disappointed about is that Greg Oden injured himself during the season opener. That's right Greg Oden got hurt again. This time he hurt his foot after playing just over 12 minutes. At this time it is unclear as to how severe the injury to Oden's foot is.
However, if you are the Portland Trailblazers you have to be concerned about the overall health and longevity of their one time number 1 pick. Greg Oden only played one year of college basketball at Ohio State. That season was cut short when Oden sat for the first half of the year with a wrist injury. Even upon returning to the court he was limited in what he could do. Oden missed his original rookie season in the NBA after undergoing micro-fracture surgery to repair an injured knee. And now he has another injury.
Even if it is a minor injury, this has to serve as proof that Greg Oden is a brittle player and his NBA career could be cut short due to a rash of injuries. If I was part of the Trailblazers management, I would be concerned that they just drafted the next Ralph Sampson.
Ralph Sampson was a three time national player of the year at the University of Virginia and is widely considered one of the best college basketball players ever. He was picked up by the Houston Rockets and along side Hakeem the Dream they combined to create a massive front court with two seven footers. However, a lack of size and a rash of foot injuries would end Sampson's career before he ever made an impact on the league.
Right now Greg Oden seems to be on the same path as so many other big men turn disappointments. I am not writing him off just yet, but I am warning, don't be surprised if/when it happens.