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What If Portland Took Durant over Oden- Bill Simmons' take

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What If Portland Took Durant over Oden- Bill Simmons' take

I 100 percent agree with this BTW

What if Portland had taken Kevin Durant over Greg Oden?

Here's what we knew about Oden heading into the 2007 Draft: owned Ewing-like potential as a rebounder and shotblocker … struggled with a broken wrist during his freshman year at Ohio State … only played one "Wow!" game (the '07 NCAA Championship: 25 points, 12 rebounds, 4 blocks in defeat against Florida's Joakim Noah and Al Horford) … his right leg was one inch longer than his left leg (a red flag for potential knee/feet/back issues) … openly admitted that he didn't love basketball and once wanted to become a dentist … frightened everyone in Portland with a jittery pre-draft workout … looked and walked like a thirty-six-year-old man.

Meanwhile, Durant lived and breathed basketball, became a national phenomenon during his only Texas season, crushed his Portland workout and had no conceivable offensive ceiling. Throw in Portland's tortured history with fragile centers and, as the years pass, it's becoming harder to fathom that the Blazers willingly decided, "Screw the sure thing, let's take the big guy with uneven legs who played one great college game." But that's what they did. Because we love revising history over time, owner Paul Allen and then-general manager Kevin Pritchard have been protected by the "Come on, anyone would have taken Oden, you always take a franchise center, it's not their fault he keeps getting injured" defense. That presumes Oden was considered a sure thing -- like Kareem, Ewing or Hakeem -- and ignores those six months everyone spent wondering about him before the 2007 Draft. Like me, Boston GM Danny Ainge liked Durant as the top pick for one reason: Durant was the sure thing, not Oden. If you followed Durant in college (and Ainge fell head over heels for him, as did I), you knew about his work ethic, leadership, character and scoring DNA. I thought Durant was a genetic freak: like Tracy McGrady crossed with Plastic Man, someone God created to make baskets and get to the line. Oden left you hoping he stayed healthy, hoping basketball would become more important to him, hoping his spotty college year wasn't an aberration, hoping he developed a low-post game and a killer instinct … for a sure thing, you sure were doing a lot of hoping. How was that any different than the Bowie/Jordan dilemma 23 years earlier? When Durant became the youngest scoring champ ever and placed second in the 2010 MVP balloting -- as Oden recovered from his second season-ending knee injury, no less -- Portland's decision barreled into the "What If" chapter six years earlier than expected.

So what if the Blazers picked Durant instead of Oden? They become the fledgling Western Conference juggernaut of the 2010s (not Oklahoma City); Portland becomes a legitimate 2010 destination for LeBron; any successfully unconventional decision would be called "a Pritchard"; and everyone in Portland would be so perpetually happy that it would never rain there again. Instead, we have to start bracing for the 2029 or 2030 Draft, when Portland wins another lottery and finds itself stressing between Sure Thing Potential Superstar Scorer X over Possibly Fragile Franchise Center X as everyone else wonders, "Wait a second, we're doing this again?" One of these generations, the Blazers will get it right.


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These are things we already

These are things we already know, its nothing new. Obviously Portland took the wrong player, but who's to say Durant wouldn't have had the same bad luck/curse as Oden if he was with Portland?

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So the only thing good about

So the only thing good about Greg Oden was the one game he played against Florida lol? Come on now Bill Simmons! You know better than that...

And Oden's right leg isn't a full inch shorter than his left. It's more like a half an inch, which isn't that unordinary.

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Greg Oden really wasnt

Greg Oden really wasnt impressive in college...he was just big. He didnt have any "FU, im a man among boys games" like he should have.

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So the only thing good about

So the only thing good about Greg Oden was the one game he played against Florida lol? Come on now Bill Simmons! You know better than that...

But then who did he have big games against? He didn't play ANY real big man prospects/players who were respectable IMO.

And Oden's right leg isn't a full inch shorter than his left. It's more like a half an inch, which isn't that unordinary.

Chad Ford said it was a full inch last time on the BS report when discussing Oden. I remember that because he went REALLLY full depth about it.

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Oden healthy is a very good

Oden healthy is a very good player and I guess since he is not healthy it is easy for people to take shots. Some of his injuries just like Bynum's have been freak injuries. He may need to do yoga and other stretching to help prevent unneccessary injuries. I think once Oden is healthy people will see how good he is but unfortunately Portland will not be that team. Also Roy had knee injuries as well and a history. That gamble did not see so bad but Portland seem to think they could do it again. They have gotten some good pieces though. Pritchard only made one mistake it appears unless you want to add not trading Rudy when his stock was higher.

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So the only thing good about

So the only thing good about Greg Oden was the one game he played against Florida lol? Come on now Bill Simmons! You know better than that...

I'm not agreeing with him but thinking about it: what other big games did he have against NBA level bigs?

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What most of you are missing

What most of you are missing is,

A. Oden had injuries written all over him

B. Durant was a cant miss player.

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kyrie he didnt... He put up

kyrie he didnt...

He put up like 15 and 8 all the time. You would think a guy who was suppose to be dominating the NBA with his size would be dropping 25-15 regularly.

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How did he have injuries

How did he have injuries written all over him? He had no history of major injuries prior to that broken wrist. Hindsight is 20-20, but he is drawing some conclusions now that can only be made in retrospect, no one could have seen those things at the time.

And Knicksboy, obviously he wasn't going to dominate a lot his players his caliber, because almost every Center of his size and skill was in the league. He didn't have that many opportunities to dominate similar big men.

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Andre Miller Brandon

Andre Miller

Brandon Roy

Kevin Durant

LaMarcus Aldridge

Marcus Camby

Pretty damn good.

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And Knicksboy, obviously he

And Knicksboy, obviously he wasn't going to dominate a lot his players his caliber, because almost every Center of his size and skill was in the league. He didn't have that many opportunities to dominate similar big men.

No, he just didn't dominate. I'm looking at his game log right now. It's nice but not against any real teams with big men. He should have been a 20-12 guy like a Ewing and Hakeem were close to in college

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It's not Oden's fault that

It's not Oden's fault that the best big men he faced were Joey Dorsey, Roy Hibbert, Joakim Noah and Al Horford. He played very well vs them.

And I know Oden's high school coach, Jack Keefer and there were a lot of untrue things floating around about Oden during draft time. That he had a bulging disk in his back. False. That one leg was a full one inch longer than the other. False. That he'd had knee problems during high school and during his entire life. False.

Other than the wrist injury, he'd NEVER been injured.

Oden showed up at the draft combine just like every other top pick and did every physcial. Nothing irregular came up. He participated in every drill except weight lifting. He tested numbers that were amazing for a big man.

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read the article. His legs

read the article. His legs arent the same size. He missed the first half of his only college season. How does he not have injuries written all over him?

Either way, even if Oden was a healthy 19/10 guy, would he be better than Durant?

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It's not Oden's fault that

It's not Oden's fault that the best big men he faced were Joey Dorsey, Roy Hibbert, Joakim Noah and Al Horford. He played very well vs them.

You sure?

17-9 against a 6-7 Dorsey

13-9 vs Hibbert

7-6 in game 1 vs Florida

25-12 in game 2 vs Florida

I'm going out on a limb....those numbers from what we believed to be a " Future superstar big man" looks VERY average other then the last game vs FLA

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Here's his game log...it's

Here's his game log...it's not very impressive if you look at the box score and see the lack of bigs he played

http://rivals.yahoo.com/ncaa/basketball/players/60049/gamelog

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He had no big games? what

He had no big games? what about 25, 14 game against #20 Tennessee? thats not good?

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Its easy to say this in

Its easy to say this in hindsight, but at the time I heard on ESPN most gm's would've taken oden with the 1st pick

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The first game vs Florida was

The first game vs Florida was his only his fifth game of the season. They double and triple teamed him the entire game. He also struggled with foul trouble.

17 points, 9 rebounds and 1 block vs Dorsey in only 24 minutes? Yea... I'd call that a good game.

13 points, 9 rebounds and 2 blocks vs Hibbert (projected as a lottery pick) in only 20 minutes? Yea... I'd call that a good game.

25 points, 12 rebounds and 4 blocks vs Florida (two projected top ten picks)... Yea... I'd call that a good game.

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No... They're going to ignore

No... They're going to ignore the 24 point, 15 rebound, 4 assist and 3 block game vs Tennessee because there was no NBA caliber big man he faced.

They're going to ignore the OUT OF THIS WORLD block he got vs Tennesse during the tornament to win the game.

They're going to ignore how he played with an injured wrist on his shooting hand the entire season.

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Kinda Like Darko in a way

Kinda Like Darko in a way now, cept not as bad. Big man bust, expected to be great, drafted in front of a great player in durant, like darko was. Dont hate on Oden for not living up to unreachable potentials, hate on the trail blazers for setting the bar too high on him and their stupidity for drafting him number one.

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@ kid kyrie

You have to remember that Ohio St team was incredibly deep with perimeter players, Oden did not have to carry the load offensively, all he had to do was anchor the defense. And he was basically playing with one hand (his off hand for that matter) and still managed to average 16PPG and shoot 60%. I believe if he never had his wrist injury that year, he could have potentially put up 20PPG and 10RPG his freshman year.

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Good point. There were

Good point.

There were reports about Oden complaining because he wasn't getting the ball. He said all the coach wanted to do was let the guards shoot three's while he rebounded and played defense. He wanted the ball.

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He had no big games? what

He had no big games? what about 25, 14 game against #20 Tennessee? thats not good?

- Go look at Tennessee's lineup, they were SUPER small.

Indiana- you keep calling them good games but is a superstar big supposed to have just good games? I mean, Durant had monster games. 6-7 Dorsey he had only 17-9? I call that alright but not great. 13-9 vs Hibbert isin't fantastic. The only reason why he got 25-12 in that last game was because OSU had Conley playing at a better level then last time and Cook was hot. People forget, Noah patroled the WHOLE paint and was man to man alot. It was alot of Horford vs Oden in that game.

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Indianabasketball has pretty

Indianabasketball has pretty good points and the only injury he had at the time was the wrist with those type of numbers its hard to blame the blazers

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He was also a freshmen coming

He was also a freshmen coming back from a wrist injury, those are pretty damn good numbers. He also absolutely dominated on defense.

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You have to remember that

You have to remember that Ohio St team was incredibly deep with perimeter players, Oden did not have to carry the load offensively, all he had to do was anchor the defense. And he was basically playing with one hand (his off hand for that matter) and still managed to average 16PPG and shoot 60%. I believe if he never had his wrist injury that year, he could have potentially put up 20PPG and 10RPG his freshman year.

That was a 4 man team. Oden, Conley, Cook and Lewis. Let's not act like they were a shoot first team. Once Conley took over, it was a inside-out team.

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Here are the facts... Greg

Here are the facts... Greg Oden wasn't the offensive killer that Kevin Durant was. His high school coach had to demand that he took 20 shots per game. It just wasn't Oden's nature. All he wanted to do was rebound, play defense and dunk it when he had it in the paint. He didn't care about acolades or accomplishments... Only winning. IF that meant him having 20 rebounds... He'd do it. IF that mean 20 points... He'd do it. He just wanted to win. And win is all he did. He NEVER lost a home game during high school and college.

2005 and 2006 PARADE High School Player of the Year
2005 and 2006 Gatorade Nat'l. Player of the Year
2006 McDonald's All-American
2006 Naismith Prep Player of the Year
2007 Second Team All-American

Are people just forgetting these things? OKAY... Oden's career has been full of injuries, but let's not act stupid and not remember why he was the top pick.

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And no, no and no. Noah,

And no, no and no.

Noah, Horford AND Richard was triple teaming Oden in the championship game. He wasn't defended one on one. Oden didn't seen one on one coverage the entire season.

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Another thing: Can we stop

Another thing: Can we stop hyping up the "Wrist" thing? I didn't see ONE game where you watched and said "Damn, Oden's wrist is not letting him play tonight"

Don't say you did either because you know you would be lying.

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Are people just forgetting

Are people just forgetting these things? OKAY... Oden's career has been full of injuries, but let's not act stupid and not remember why he was the top pick.

His height made him the top pick in all reality.

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Excuse me, I stand

Excuse me, I stand corrected

Height and Upside. The posion of NBA GMs for the past 30 years. Portland just fell for it instead of taking Durant.

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He shot his free-throws left

He shot his free-throws left handed lol. How can you say his wrist didn't impact him?

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He shot his free-throws left

He shot his free-throws left handed lol. How can you say his wrist didn't impact him?

Never said it didn't impact him. I said in quote: "Another thing: Can we stop hyping up the "Wrist" thing? I didn't see ONE game where you watched and said "Damn, Oden's wrist is not letting him play tonight"

Did you see a game where the reason he had a TERRIBLE game was because of his wrist...be real now.

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Oden was the best big man

Oden was the best big man prospect since Tim Duncan. He didn't just pop up on the scene like Michael Olowokandi. He'd been closely watched since his freshman year of high school. NBA scouts were at his high school games. They were at his AAU games. They were at Nike Camp watching him go up against Al Jefferson, Robert Swift and countless other bigs. They were at all of the camps.

There were GM's that said they'd have picked him over Dwight Howard in 2004 with the top pick.

IF not for these sad freak injuries, he'd be competing with Dwight Howard for the best center in the leauge right now. He was never going to be a great offensive player (like Dwight), but he'd be dominating the paint at both ends of the floor. And yes, I'd take that over Durant's 30 points.

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Oden was the best big man

Oden was the best big man prospect since Tim Duncan. He didn't just pop up on the scene like Michael Olowokandi. He'd been closely watched since his freshman year.

Keyword: Prospect.

There were GM's that said they'd have picked him over Dwight Howard in 2004 with the top pick.

There are tons of stupid GM's in the NBA, what can I say?

IF not for these sad freak injuries, he'd be competing with Dwight Howard for the best center in the leauge right now. He was never going to be a great offensive player (like Dwight), but he'd be dominating the paint at both ends of the floor. And yes, I'd take that over Durant's 30 points.

Foul prone, did good against average centers in the NBA, always got ticky tack injuries and left games for periods of time: Smells like the 2nd best center in the NBA to me. Let's forget allllll about Andrew Bogut, or Brook Lopez, or Andrew Bynum, or Roy Hibbert. You could argue Oden would be comparable stat wise to Tyson Chandler, even when he played.

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i love hindsite. The vast

i love hindsite. The vast majority of people i spoke with and heard from and things i read all had oden going number 1. Of course we know now it was a mistake. But simmons has said things that didnt come true and im sure made plenty of bad predictions himself.

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i love hindsite. The vast

i love hindsite. The vast majority of people i spoke with and heard from and things i read all had oden going number 1. Of course we know now it was a mistake. But simmons has said things that didnt come true and im sure made plenty of bad predictions himself.

Yea but everyone knew Oden was going 1, it was almost set in stone.

Also, Simmons wrote he wanted Durant and believed he was gonna be a better player BACK THEN. Remember, his Celtics had a terrible season and he wrote a nice little piece in a article that he wanted Durant.

I liked Durant over Oden because he reminded me of a Tracy McGrady guy but with the fire and heart to get better. I'd be lying if I told you he'd be a top 5 NBA player but I thought at least he'd be a 20-7 type guy. I compared him to a young James Worthy ( my thinking: he'd get more on his frame) but I was WRONG.

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At the time, very few people

At the time, very few people would've taken Durant over Oden. I called that one though (due to my bias towards wings and guards)!

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IF not for Oden's injuries

IF not for Oden's injuries and missing the on court time he needed to improve and get better, I don't think this is even a discussion.

And don't let me post all of Bill Simmons' predictions that have been wrong... Because there are a lot. He's not the genius that he makes himself out to be.

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i liked durant too. WHen i

i liked durant too. WHen i first saw him in the mcd's game i thought of mcgrady as well. But oden had some crazy potential. Bigs are naturally gonna get more hype at the draft becasue they are harder to come by. WHen oden would go up for blocks/dunks, he would explode and have his head around the rim. He didnt look like a stiff to me. I figured worst case scenario for him would be about 14points with 10 boards and 2-3 blocks while overall controlling the paint which is huge for teams trying to win in the post season.

Props to anyone who had durant ahead of oden all along since you guys obviously would have made the right choice.

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And don't let me post all of

And don't let me post all of Bill Simmons' predictions that have been wrong... Because there are a lot. He's not the genius that he makes himself out to be.

Noone claimed he was.....He just made the correct prediction on this topic.

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bill simmons knows his stuff

bill simmons knows his stuff and is a very entertaining writer. If it werent for the fact he was such an admited laker hater, i might be more of a fan. He must have said at least 5-6 times during the course of last season/playoffs that ron artest would destroy the lakers season. He kept bringing it up and said any laker fan who doesnt know its coming is blind. That made the fact ron was argubaly the best player on the court in game 7 all the more fun.

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Bill Simmons is an

Bill Simmons is an idiot.

Part of his reasoning for liking Durant over Oden was because of the way both players walked.

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Come on now, I know its easy

Come on now, I know its easy to say now who should be the number one pick, but Oden wasn't an offensive type of guy so him putting up 25,30,40 points on a nightly basis wasnt going to happen plus ball dominant Mike Conley was on that team along with Daquan Cook, Ron Lewis, Ivan Harris and Jamar Butler who all got buckets as well so he didnt have to dominate offensively like Durant did.

And also if you REALLY watched that Ohio State team play you would have seen how many shots Oden altered and how scared opposing teams were to even think about going inside he was a game changer and back then it really was a toss up of who should be number one, Durant was not the clear cut winner.

Dont forget Oden made it to the championship as well, while Durant was home, no knock to Durant tho dude a beast but i think this is really unfair

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Oden also was playing with

Oden also was playing with one hand pretty much and shooting better than howard and Shaq from the line with his off hand. I saw Oden play and I saw Durant play a lot and I would have picked Durant because i live in Texas and saw more of their games and knew he was a can't miss prospect but it would have been tough because Oden was like a once in a decade big man. They compared him to Duncan. It would have been tough to let him slide. I think had it been reverse Oden would not have been injuried as much and would be dominating down in OKC. They would have a line up of Westbrook, Harden, Green, Ibaka, Oden. That would not have been a bad team. Oden and Ibaka in the front court would make up for Durant offense. Also Harden would get to score more and some would Green.

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Bill Simmons is an idiot. Is

Bill Simmons is an idiot.

Is he a idiot because of his pick of Durant ( the right pick by the way) or is he a idiot because you mad he disagreed with you and saw what most people didn't see 3 years before it happened? Come on now, don't be all hating and stuff.

Dont forget Oden made it to the championship as well, while Durant was home, no knock to Durant tho dude a beat but i think this is really unfair

- Durant was the only good player on his team ( D.J. Augustine wasn't ready) while Oden played with a good shooter and point guard, who he played high school basketball with.

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Oden and Ibaka in the front

Oden and Ibaka in the front court would make up for Durant offense

What?

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IDC if Oden played with a

IDC if Oden played with a good shooter and a PG he went to highschool with.......Oden only hand ONE FRIGGIN HAND basically the whole year, no excuses and dont say Augustin wasn't ready, when Durant left he tore the BIG 12 up, he might have not played to his potential because of Durant, but he was ready and Durant also played with a very good shooter as well AJ Abrams....

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Apparently playing on one of

Apparently playing on one of the top teams in the nation, facing constant double teams as a freshman averaging nearly 16 and 10 and playing with basically one hand with his broken wrist is just a case of Oden being big. You must have not watched Oden play at all because in college he was a beast and impacted both sides of the ball greatly. It is easy with retrospect to say that Durant clearly would be a better player then Oden and that pick I believe 29 other gms would of made the same choice. Oden is not a bust due to his lack of skill level, He simply is one of the most injury plagued people on the planet Earth. Also you can never play the what if game because what if Durant goes to Portland does not mease with the team and struggles greatly while Oden becomes the big man of the future in OKC and is injury free you can never predict the future on draft picks just use all the resources available to make the most informed decision you can.

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The Simmons haters are

The Simmons haters are laughable. He doesnt just look at stats he really looks at the way guys actually play.

This is like when people are arguing stats vs Lebron.

"He had 15 and 10, that was pretty good."

Durant was dropping 35 in college all the time...I was one of the few (admitted FEW) that would have taken Durant. He seemed much more polished. And i watch an abundance of big man fall short throughout the 90s to the wingman. So the whole "Big men win titles" is quite false. Outside Duncan, its consistantly been teams with perimeters.

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