The behemoth of a man now fully in charge of patrolling the paint for the Portland Trailblazers is an intimidating presence. He can finish around the basket with force; he blocks and alters shots; and once he figures things out, he should be among the League leaders in boards. He has all of the tools to become a dominant force in the NBA.
All that being said, there’s plenty of room for improvement. And Greg knows this, he’s just tired of hearing about it from pesky media folk. From The Oregonian (Tremendous feature by Jason Quick, which you should definitely read in its entirety):
Greg Oden was mad, and he was mad at me. It was late last week, and I told the Trail Blazers’ rookie center that I had to be honest: Through four exhibition games, I had been underwhelmed by his performance.
“Are you mad I said that?” I asked. “Yeah,” he said, sounding equally hurt and angry.
Coming off major knee surgery which caused him to miss his rookie campaign, expectations on Oden and his team will understandably be enormous. If his feelings are already hurt by the relatively minimal criticism he’s received so far, he could be in trouble.
Time to develop a thick skin, Greg.