Is Greg Oden Over Kevin Durant a Bowie Over Jordan Redux for Portland?

Darrell HorwitzSenior Writer IIApril 7, 2010

OKLAHOMA CITY - OCTOBER 29:  Kevin Durant #35 of the Oklahoma City Thunder watches a free throw against the Milwaukee Bucks at the Ford Center on October 29, 2008 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The Bucks defeated the Thunder 98-87.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.   (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Looking up to the rafters in the Rose Garden, Portland Trail Blazer fans proudly gaze at the championship banners hanging there from the Jordan era.

Oops! My mistake.

Or maybe it was Portlands.

Instead of taking Michael Jordan with the second pick in the 1984 NBA draft, they went for the big man in Sam Bowie and passed on the greatest player in the history of the NBA.

That thought came to mind last night watching Kevin Durant sinking long threes like they were free throws and thinking, "Boy, I bet Portland wished they picked Kevin Durant in 2007 instead of Greg Oden."

But like they did in 1984, they had to have the big man.

So how many more banners will Portland lose because they made the same mistake again?

The Bulls won six championships with Jordan, and there's no telling how many the Blazers could have won with him.

You could argue that Portland had a better supporting cast than the Bulls in the '90s. If Jordan switched uniforms with Bowie, Portland could have possibly even surpassed the Bulls' run.

That's up for debate, but what's not up for debate is that they would have won multiple championships with Jordan.

Bowie and Oden are eerily similar.

They were both injury-prone. Bowie had three seasons out of 10 in his career where he played less than 40 games. He also missed the '87-'88 campaign.

That followed two knee surgeries while playing for Kentucky in college. The writing was already on the wall.

Oden also had an injury in his only college season, though he only missed seven games and played with a splint for part of the year.

He missed his rookie season in the NBA, and went out this year after only 21 games.

Bowie ended his career averaging 10.9 ppg, 7.5 rebounds, 1.8 blocks, and no championships.

Oden is at 9.4 ppg, 7.3 rebounds, 1.4 blocks, and currently, no championships.  

Like I said, eerily similar.

But what's even scarier if you happen to be a Portland Trail Blazer fan, is how similar Kevin Durant is to Michael Jordan.

Jordan finished his career with a 30.1 ppg average along with five MVP awards. If you wanted to be real, he could have won it practically every year.

Durant is currently leading the league in scoring with a 29.9 average in only his third season. His career numbers are 25.1 ppg, 6.1 rebounds, and almost a block a game.

He has a chance to win his first MVP award this year.

The sky's the limit for Durant, who looks like a praying mantis on the court.

He can probably play just about any position, and is as adept handling the ball as he is shooting three's.

How would he look in the Portland lineup with Brandon Roy, LaMarcus Aldridge, Andre Miller, and Marcus Camby?

They might even compete for the championship this year with Durant.

Portland has a deeper team than the Thunder, though they currently trail them by one game.

What would the difference be if Durant was on Portland?

They would be competing for the best record in the West, while Oklahoma City would be competing in the John Wall sweepstakes.

So what does this lesson teach us?

When you have a chance to choose between an all-time great, or a big man who is going to get you 10 points and 7 rebounds a game, you choose the all-time great!

Size does matter, but not on the basketball court.