Blazer fans can still remember 3 years ago like it were 11 days ago.

Portland, Ore - We didn’t exactly know who Kevin Pritchard was, except that he was the Player Personel guy that had just stepped in as interim Head Coach for the fired Mo Cheeks. Nate McMillan was in his first year as Blazer coach. Sebastian Telfair had come thru the fire to lead us to the worst record in the Association with the help of the newly signed $84 Million man Zach Randolph. And Darius Miles was having Microfracture surgery.

In other parts that we were less aware of:

Seattle, Wa - Brandon Roy was beginning his Pac-10 Player of the Year, Sweet 16, All-American senior year.tex-cheerleaders

Austin, Tx - LaMarcus Aldrige was returning from freshman surgery staking his claim to Big-12 Defensive Player of the Year.

Indianapolis, In - Reigning National High School Player of the Year Greg Oden, the first Junior since LeBron James to win National Player of the Year was gearing up for a prep senior campaign to defend that title.


Almost just as clearly, I can remember the night Gregory made SportsCenters top-10 trailing on the break for Lawrence High, the ball is lofted back to him and the gigantic high schooler soars for the flush.

What was so impressive about Greg Oden wasn’t that that he was 7-ish feet at the time, and dominating 6-foot, 2-inch opposing high schoolers, what was impressive was the way this young man could move. Those of you that played prep sports, you remember your friends that grew too fast too soon, so you know how clumsy they were growing into their new longer legs. In fact, most of you were probably the long lanky friend.

oden-green_ranger_by_david_grier1A year later, Oden was an 18 year old freshman at the Ohio State University with what might have seemed like the weight of Columbus sitting on his shoulders, anticipating his right wrist’s health.

What was so impressive about Oden now wasn’t just his athleticism anymore, it was his demeanor. We got to see him at least twice weekly now that he was in college, and he was always cheesin, just being a kid playing a game with his friends, and would you ever have imagined that you’d see a 7-foot collegiate star dressed up as the Green Ranger? Yeah, most of the Buckeyes around the Oval probably didn’t either.

That was sort of the point though. You didn’t ever see things like this. He was still is all of the good things and apparently none of the bad. He was is talented, smart, fun, and good hearted. The main difference between Nate McMillan’s Greg Oden, and Thad Matta’s or Jack Keefer’s Greg Oden is that Nate McMillan’s Greg Oden hasn’t become the Green Ranger yet.

I know, he blogs, he plays piano with Justin Randall Timberlake at the ESPY’s, he does karaoke, chats with Obama, and if ESPN wants sophisticated then Greg has Sophisticated, but that is off the court Greg.

I’m not saying he has to don the costume and helmet on court, but when he starts being a kid again that is just playing a game with his friends, only in a bigger arena in front of more people, then maybe he’ll find his Zord. And he will. If tonight against the tough Hornets at the Hive where they’d only lost to the undefeated Hawks (at the time) and the undefeated Lakers (at the time) is any indication of things to come, It isn’t a matter of ‘if’, it is matter of time.

I know that all of us in or around Portland are completely patient, supportive and steadfast. We done seen us some crap, so we know how to wait for the good. Game 1 he really only got to play 1 quarter on two good wheels, game 2 that first field goal came, game 3 was the first double-double and a nifty 4 blocked shots. I’m sure some time around the first significant playing time in a game the Blazer win, and Portland’s Power Ranger is going to start having fun, and then (I’m wincing as I struggle with whether or not to write this cheesy line that seems inevitable) …it’s Morphing Time!


…and of course, because this is a Greg Oden post I feel obligated to post a small gallery of Rihanna pictures. Even more, I feel obligated to let PeteJN know it was solely for that purpose, and not because I’m now a Rihanna fan.rihanna-oden


One Response to “Blaze: the Green Ranger’s return”

  1. gildo said

    as peterjn can attest to, those picture dont do rehanna justice. much much hotter in person and lupe, nerd, and kanye were pretty tight too.

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