And the Dancers all Danced
I have not come here to debate whether Greg Oden or Kevin Durant should be selected first overall in the NBA Draft. First of all, we usually leave discussion of college hoops up to our collegiate expert, Brown Wreckluse, Esq. Second of all, the answer is quite clear that Greg Oden should be your #1 Overall, and anyone who says otherwise is fooling themselves. Earlier in the week, I fumed when heard Right-way advocate, Rick Majerus, discredit Durant because his team is not winning. It was something along the lines of, "I like Durant's numbers, but the number that matters is the one on the left side of the team record, and that's why I like players like Joakim Noah and Arron Afflalo better." I'm sure Rick Majerus would have liked Ed O'Bannon and Shawn Respert more than Kevin Garnett back in 1995, but that's a different story.
Then, on Monday night, I finally watched a full game of Durant vs. A&M. His numbers, of course, were staggering, but I found myself oddly agreeing with Majerus, leading me to perceive Kevin Durant as a mere few footsteps away from, say, Joe Johnson right now." Durant is an amazing do-it-all player with a young/confused team surrounding him, and I'm not sure there's much he can do along the lines of a Carmelo Anthony, to single-handedly propel Texas to even staying in the top 25 by the end of the year. Regardless, Durant most certainly, at this point, seems like he will win player of the year. Perhaps this a much gone-over point, but it bears revisiting. The past few Naismith POY award-winners look as follows:
- 1988 - Danny Manning, Kansas
- 1989 - Danny Ferry, Duke
- 1990 - Lionel Simmons, LaSalle
- 1991 - Larry Johnson, UNLV
- 1992 - Christian Laettner, Duke
- 1993 - Calbert Cheaney, Indiana
- 1994 - Glenn Robinson, Purdue
- 1995 - Joe Smith, Maryland
- 1996 - Marcus Camby, Massachusetts
- 1997 - Tim Duncan, Wake Forest
- 1998 - Antawn Jamison, North Carolina
- 1999 - Elton Brand, Duke
- 2000 - Kenyon Martin, Cincinnati
- 2001 - Shane Battier, Duke
- 2002 - Jason Williams, Duke
- 2003 - T. J. Ford, Texas
- 2004 - Jameer Nelson, St. Joseph's
- 2005 - Andrew Bogut, Utah
- 2006 - J.J. Redick, Duke
I will now thank you in advance for allowing me to take a huge leap in thought process, but....all of this week's bantering back and forth about Durant vs. Oden has brought me to wonder, is it not possible that Chris Bosh would win a championship before LeBron, and perhaps even Carmelo? I think it is in fact probable. The league is in a weird transitory state right now, sitting somewhere in between dynasties. Teams can win it all in a variety of ways: ugly (Pistons 04), Euro-style (recent Spurs), solo job (Heat 06), or perhaps even run-n-gun if the Suns reach their goal this year. However, these are the final minutes of that in-between time, before the big man reaches down, and extends his grasp. It seems quite logical then, that the league should fall into the hands of either Dwight Howard, Chris Bosh, or--without seeing him play one NBA minute--Oden.
LeBron, Durant, KG, and (without his supporting cast) Nowitzki are current evidence, until I am proved otherwise, that the do-it-all player does not win. The complexity of these players' skill-sets becomes diluted, and eventually dissolves. Pippen is no Jordan. Shawn Marion is no Amare. The player who plays big, and whose talent is a monolith, shall reign next.
I close by pointing you to the excellent work of our fellow-bloggers, D-Wil and Tragic Johnson. Keep on pushing. Oh, and if you didn't think Freedarko was being repped at the Superbowl this past weekend, like my man KG said, "You were FOOLED"