Is it still too soon to talk about the Blazers picking Greg Oden over Kevin Durant?
Yes. Yes, it is. It’s still a deep cut.
That didn’t stop the TNT crew, joined by LeBron James and Kevin Durant, to bring it up once more… even if they didn’t realize it.
Making small talk during the All-Star Game draft special, host Ernie Johnson asked Kevin Durant if he was always the first pick growing up.
“Yeah. Either the first or second pick,” said Durant, an obvious joke about being selected second overall in the 2007 NBA draft.
The Blazers took Greg Oden first overall that night, but that fact seemed to slip the mind of the TNT crew.
“Usually someone like 12 years older than me,” said Durant. Was this another crack at Oden? It could have been Durant just talking about the older kids getting picked over him. It also could have been that Greg Oden, who was 19 years old on draft night, looked like he was 40.
But the fun didn’t stop there.
LeBron James chimed in, “Whoever was the first guy taken before KD back then, KD needs to bring him to his Hall of Fame speech.”
Was LeBron in on the joke or did he forget that “the first guy taken before KD” in 2007 happened to play with LeBron in Miami?
Another teammate of James and Oden in Miami happened to be on the panel – Future Hall of Famer Dwyane Wade.
To Wade’s credit, he remembered who Oden was. At one point when the crew was ranting about the one guy picked over KD, you can hear Wade off camera say “Greg Oden.”
It’s fun to see that KD can joke about that 2007 draft, it’s just unfortunate that the guy taken before him was betrayed by his body.
Oden played in Portland from 2007 to 2012 but injuries held him to just 82 total games over those five seasons. He was waived in 2012, signed with Miami in 2013, and played 23 games for the Heat on their run to the 2014 NBA Finals.
To be fair, hindsight is always 20/20. It’s easy to look at the NBA now and say “How could Portland pick Oden over Durant?” But back in 2007, there were 29 other teams that would have done the exact same thing.