Thursday, November 18th, 2010 at 3:53 pm  |  24 responses

Links: Oden/Bowie and…links?

I’m taking the high-speed bus…

by Lang Whitaker | @langwhitaker

News broke yesterday that Greg Oden will be having season-ending microfracture surgery on his left knee. This, of course, represents just the most recent entry in Oden’s already-voluminous medical file.

There are two names brought up whenever Greg Oden suffers an injury: Kevin Durant and Sam Bowie. Durant gets mentioned because the Blazers picked Oden over him. I understand the comparison, I guess, although it’s a bit unfair since Oden’s injuries have kept him from ever being the player we thought he might become.

In some ways, Sam Bowie is a more fitting comparison, I suppose. Both he and Oden were big men, both drafted by Portland, both with suffered a lot of injuries, both with the supreme misfortune of being picked ahead of guys (Michael Jordan and Durant) who quickly found a home among the best players in the League.

But what do we really know about Sam Bowie? I started thinking about that this morning as I read about Oden. It’s such an obvious comparison to make between Oden and Bowie, but is it really accurate?

I did some digging today, as much for my own edification as yours. Bowie played three good seasons in college at Kentucky, though he also missed two entire seasons (guessing he got a redshirt) with injuries. As a rookie with Portland, Bowie made the NBA All-Rookie team, playing almost as many games as a rookie (76) as Oden has played in three-plus seasons (82). Bowie was injured for most of his second season, and then five games into his third season he suffered a compound fracture of his tibia during a game. It was such a severe injury that Bowie the following 77 games of that season (‘86-87). He was going to return for the following season (‘87-88), but re-broke the same bone during the preseason and missed the entire year. Bowie returned in ’88-89 but played in just 20 games, and the Blazers traded him to New Jersey.

And that’s where things changed. The next four seasons—from ’89-90 through ’92-93—Bowie had the best years of his career. He averaged 70 games per season over that span, and in ’91-92 he played in 71 games and finished the season averaging 15 ppg and 8.1 rpg. He wasn’t Michael Jordan, but this Sam Bowie wasn’t terrible either. After four productive seasons in Jersey, he played two years with Lakers, then called it a career.

I guess the most obvious difference, besides their ages — Oden was one year younger than Bowie as NBA rookies — was that Bowie had a history of leg injury problems in college. Oden had that one freaky wrist injury and missed a few games, while Bowie missed two entire years with shin injuries.

Is it fair to compare Greg Oden to Sam Bowie? I think it is, at least in a general sense with as much as the two have in common. But is it an accurate comparison? Meaning, we CAN compare Greg Oden to Sam Bowie, but SHOULD we compare Greg Oden to Sam Bowie? I don’t think so, not yet, at least. Oden’s still young and we don’t know — he could still have a long career ahead of him.

Say what you want about Sam Bowie, but he did have at least one sizable chunk of his career where he was consistent and productive. And that’s something we’ve yet to see from Greg Oden.

• Speaking of Oden, The Onion ran this eerily prescient story on Oden earlier this week.

While I was reading that, I ended up clicking around on their site and coming across this hilarious fake story about Obama’s fake plan to replace high-speed trains with high-speed buses, which cracked both me and Ben up pretty good, particularly the animated buses on the highway.

Obama Replaces Costly High-Speed Rail Plan With High-Speed Bus Plan

• Did anyone catch this Ben Wallace story on Yahoo? After Wallace retires, he wants to become a defense attorney.

“That’s my ultimate goal,” Wallace said. “It’s always been one of my dreams. I think I can argue a pretty good case. I think I can convince a couple of people to see things my way.”
“I’m very serious about it. Very.”

The story also notes that Wallace watches Court TV 24/7, and the one drawback might be that he doesn’t own a business suit or a tie.

I’m calling for it right now: Whenever Wallace does anything in a Pistons game (scores, gets a rebound, blocks a shot) they need to play the Law & Order sound effect. You know what I’m talking about…

Also, I think NBC should invent an iPhone app based on that sound effect, where you can play that sound with one click of a button. Let’s say you walk into a restaurant: DUH-DUH! You sit down at your desk: DUH-DUH! Your wife screams, “Where were you last night?!” DUH-DUH!

(Something else I struggled with: How do you spell the Law & Order sound? I went with DUH-DUH, though there seems to be a lot of argument as to how to spell it.)

• One other thing: A new issue of SLAM is going to drop next week, and we’re going to debut it in a way we’ve never debuted a mag before. Stay tuned for details…

  • Add a Comment
  • Share
  • RSS

Tags: , , , , , ,

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    “A new issue of SLAM is going to drop next week, and we’re going to debut it in a way we’ve never debuted a mag before.” Who on the staff knows some ESPN brass to get a one hour reveal special?

  • JD

    Does no one else see the fittingness of Ben Wallace becoming a defence attorney?

  • http://www.triplejunearthed.com/dacre Dacre

    Your dropping a new mag in a way never done before?….Let me guess. Australia is going to get it on time???
    I want to see some Ben Wallace ads where he is defending/prosecuting in court….whilst wearing his uniform and massive afro. That would appeal to me; the ads can be about any product ever.
    A Sam Bowie – Greg Oden comparison is SO overwhelmingly accurate I wake up with in a cold sweat.
    Law & Order sound: Boowm-Boooowmmmm.
    I see the highspeed bus thing and just think of Keanu Reeves.

  • http://www.need4sheed.com Tarzan Cooper

    If bowie spent 3 years in skool, then hes 2 yrs older than gramps. what is bens hair going to be like in the courtroom? And can he wear a headband, or will judge skiles not allow it?. I smell a kobe cover on the next ish, hope not, but thats how slam rolls.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Myles Brown

    DUN-DUN! Though hes not a lawyer, Id much rather hear a Clay Davis “Sheeeeeeeeit!” every time Ben scores.

  • http://slamonline.com AlbertBarr

    “Post has noted that one of the sounds the interlude incorporates is the sound of ‘five hundred Japanese men stamping their feet on a wooden floor”

  • http://slamonline.com AlbertBarr

    “Duahuuuuuh!” That is how I would spell it…but it is very “breathy” for a lack of a better word and how do you spell that sound?

  • http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/chicago-bulls-confidential/ Diesel

    I can already picture how the one hour special to debut the mag would go. Lang is sitting there, waiting to be questioned about the new issue. Hundreds of fans waiting to ask the hard hitting questions about what went into making this month’s issue. And then the first critical question hits..”Lang Whittaker, do you still bite your nails?”

  • http://www.twitter.com/TheDiesel Anton

    Needless to say, my idea to reveal the new cover by flying a giant blimp across the world and dropping them by the pound over key cities was shot down.

  • http://slamonline.com riggs

    its chung chung.

  • http://slamonline.com/ Tzvi Twersky

    You can get the Law and Order sound as a ring tone, so at least there’s that.

  • http://www.stonesthrow.com Michael NZ

    Would it shock anyone if Oden never even plays another game in the NBA?

  • http://sports.espn.go.com/oly/olybb/news/story?id=5493184 Jackie Moon

    I love guys who think “I’m good at arguing, I should be a lawyers”.

  • http://sports.espn.go.com/oly/olybb/news/story?id=5493184 Jackie Moon

    I also love guys who don’t know the singular for lawyer.

  • http://slamonline.com Matt Lawyue

    can’t WAIT for this next ish

  • BostonBaller

    I don’t think we actually compare their talents as much as Portland’s “misfortune” to have drafted both players?.

  • http://slamonline.com Ben Osborne

    Eboy’s joke isn’t that far…just a few channels away. Great links, Lang. I have very fond memories of Bowie on the Nets; great role player on those teams. Obviously for Oden to do that would be far less than we all once envisioned, but it would be nice to see. And that Onion bus thing is hysterical!

  • http://www.hoopsvibe.com/features/overdribbling chiqo

    lemme guess, ipad app?

  • huh

    “It was such a severe injury that Bowie the following 77 games of that season (‘86-87)”?

  • 4th Qtr Hero


  • http://www.twitter.com/HurstySYD Hursty

    LMAO @ Dacre’s 1st point. SO true man. SO true.

  • http://slamonline.com Lang Whitaker

    @BostonBaller: Good point.

  • http://www.youtube.com/officerbarbrady what

    Sesame Street says “chung chung” so I’m going with that.

  • jarrett

    “both with suffered a lot of injuries” ?
    step your journalism up!