By Marcus Thompson
Thursday, June 28th, 2007 at 10:49 pm in Uncategorized.
I would’ve taken Kevin Durant.
I like Ohio State center Greg Oden. I do. And I don’t think Portland general manager made a mistake by selecting Oden. It was the safe move, if not the smart move.
But how do you pass up Kevin Durant? How do you pass up a chance to get a player with that much talent?
That’s like taking Hakeem Olajuwon over Michael Jordan. Sure, the Dream got two titles, but Jordan got six and he turned the Chicago Bulls franchise into household name.
Durant is a star in every sense. He’s an amazing basketball player, who can do things with the rock 90 percent of players can’t do. He’s also got an aura about him. He knows he’s all that, and the fans of the team he plays for will know it, opponents will know it. He gives a franchise a face and a personality, and he’s going to win.
Oden will win, too, and he’ll certainly be a talented player. But the things that are working against him – offensive immaturity, possible injury problems, needs talent around him – is enough to make me take Durant.
They’re both as sure a bet as you’re going to get in the draft. But it’s the difference between getting a Honda Accord and a Dodge Charger. Both are going to get you from A to B. The Honda is reliable and sure to get the job done. But a Charger, with some nice rims and tinted windows, can get the job done and turn some heads while doing it.
*The Yi Movement
Is now headed to Milwaukee. The Bucks totally ignored Yi’s disinterest in going to Wisconsin – he wanted to go to teams in a city with a strong Asian presence – and drafted the 7-foot, 242-pound rookie.
I can already see the clip of Yi sharing brats with Bob Uecker at Miller Park. You just know Yi, Michael Redd and Andrew Bogut will be the leading vote-getters for next year’s All-Star Game.
Apparently, the Bucks are saying they will keep Yi (pronounced EE), that is until NBA Commissioner David Stern steps in a makes it happen for the league’s sake.
The amount of money to be grabbed from China’s loyal fans is too great. Yi being with the Bucks forfeits the opportunity for the NBA to tap into a huge, relatively untapped Asian markets of the Bay Area, Los Angeles and New York. That’s a lot of money on tickets and jerseys, a lot of unique sponsorships and business partnerships, going unexercised.
Don’t get it twisted, the Bucks will ship Yi. It will take one sweet offer from a team, and maybe a threat by Yi not to report, and maybe a little urging from Stern. But my money is on Yi never play for Milwaukee. And the Bucks will be a better team for it.
There were several guys who were expected to go in the second round that slipped into the first. Jared Dudley. Aaron Brooks. Aaron Afflalo. Alando Tucker.
Of course that meant Gabe Pruitt, Josh McRoberts, Nick Fazekas, Glen Davis, and Derrick Byars slipped into the second round. Those could be some pretty nice steals. One steal the Warriors missed? Dominic McGuire from Fresno State. They could’ve gotten him at 46.