Let’s not even get into what the basketball fans predicted for Greg Oden. If we really wanted to cover all the bases, and mention everything that was expected (and everything that wasn’t), this piece would be tens of thousands of words long. We’re not about to get into this again because this post is really about the cover–and the wallpaper that your can use on your desktop. Before the 2008-09 season, the SLAM preview issue ran five Obama campaign-inspired covers before America elected its first African-American president. Previews, in general, take a shot at predicting what the future may hold. Greg Oden may not have played an NBA game yet, and you might think that doesn’t deserve a cover, but he represented the ultimate guessing game, every prognostication included something about the 7-foot rookie.
Dude from Indiana hasn’t had the best luck with injuries, and his seriousness on and off the court is causing some concern. He’s finally playing, but… expects better of himself. He knows he can be better, if only… he had a more polished offensive game. He’s making excuses and putting it all upon himself. Suddenly, the charismatic Oden that we saw so often last year, during his rehab has taken a back seat to a super focused self. All that’s known is he’s not a bust and is willing to work like crazy on the defensive end of the court. He’s raw on offense, but can be explosive as any big in the game. Predictions aside, the cover holds extra meaning in that Oden was one of the first athletes to publically support President Obama on his campaign. It’s quite fitting that Portland’s face of change would have an Obama-themed cover.