Only about an hour ago I watched Greg Oden go down in tonight's game versus the Houston Rockets and it was clear the injury to his right knee was serious.
It was moments ago team doctors announced the injury was a fractured left patella;he will be out for the season.
It's just so hard to find words to write because I am too emotional. Oden was our ticket to going far in the NBA playoffs and potentially win an NBA championship. Now, it looks like our franchise has just lost 10 years down the future.
What a tragedy.
Yet Greg Oden is less a victim of bad knees, as he is a victim of an NBA that aggressively markets young players before they have a chance to prove themselves.
Michael Jordan pointed out the NBA's aggressive marketing in an interview with ESPN Magazine over a year ago and I am not surprised his wise comments did not get more attention.
The hype following Oden and Durant made the league and other outlets, a lot of ratings and money.
Stuck in-between that hype stood two little kids: Greg Oden and Kevin Durant.
Oden, it was reported, was the championship pick.
Durant, it was reported, was the playoffs pick.
Greg Oden had more pressure on him than Atlas, the Greek mythological character who allegedly balanced the entire world on his back; nature took it's course.
Greg Oden was picked over Kevin Durant as the number one draft pick in the 2007 NBA Draft by my Portland Trail Blazers;the City went crazy and they even threw him a parade.
Joy, a glorious future, the end of the constant losing,then Oden got a season ending knee injury.
A dark cloud hung over the city andOden sat his rookie season.
Yet during that season Portland would go on stretches of brilliance only to fall short of making the playoffs.
The following season, Oden was ready to start.
Yet in the first game of the season Oden goes out with an ankle injury.
When he returned weeks later Portland wisely put him in the second unit.
There, Oden contributed dramatically to help create the best second unit in the NBA and the Portland Trail Blazers won 54 games
Portland made the playoffs with home court advantage.
The City threw another parade.
However, the older Houston Rockets defeated Portland in six games, including an embarrassing Game one blowout at the Rose Garden.
Afterwards, the aggressive media hype for what would certainly be a successful 2010 season was underway.
Hype without PROOF, without a SHOW OF EFFORT, without STATISTICS or VICTORY.
Just another day of marketing for the NBA.
I felt it was a mistake to start Greg Oden this season.
Portland was so good with him coming in off the bench.
But start Oden Portland did and for awhile he put up some of the best statistics in the league and he was breaking through.
He was becoming a true first round NBA draft pick.
Then...tonight ;tonight Oden's gone for awhile.
Now a storm cloud hangs over the city, but this season is not yet done; not by a long shot.
As a true fan do not dare think otherwise.
Though Oden may not return this season he could ,anything is possible.
Thus, as a true Portland Trail Blazer fan, there is nothing to do but put your faith, heart, and prayers into Greg Oden and the Portland Trail Blazers.
Believe Oden can come back and be ready to come in off the bench late in the season.
Right now, Portland is putting up a heck-uva fight against Houston.
Let's help Portland;don't pass blame.
The Portland Trail Blazers do not need it and as fans, neither do we.