Last sentence is what it comes down to. If Oden can stay healthy I'm glad we took him #1. He's only 22 so he's still has plenty of time, but this is a contract year so for him to get a big contract it's a big year for him.Don't worry, Stephen Strasburg -- it's not only baseball where the top overall draft pick is cursed.
In the NBA, we just endured a nightmare season in which three of the last six No. 1 guys fell victim to season-ending injuries, in the process dashing the aspirations of three young teams all sorely hurting for a big man. But luckily, they're all on the way back soon, so we ask: Who has the comeback of the year -- Blake Griffin, Greg Oden or Andrew Bogut?
All three suffered devastating injuries this past season, dealing knockout punches not only to their own seasons, but to the franchises counting on them.
Start with Griffin, whom the L.A. Clippers drafted with the No. 1 overall pick last summer -- when the former Oklahoma big man went down in October with a stress fracture in his left knee, it put the Clips' season in serious doubt. When team doctors concluded in January that surgery was needed and Griffin's season was over, that threw a wrench into everything. The Clips were out of the running.
For Oden, it was the second season-ending injury in three seasons. First he missed all of the 2007-08 campaign with a fractured right knee; then this past December, it was his left, as a broken patella quickly brought another season to a screeching halt. The Portland Trail Blazers were forced to move on without their franchise big man.
Bogut was the primary reason that from day one, the Milwaukee Bucks looked destined for a deep playoff run last season. But a freak accident on April 3 against Phoenix, with the Bucks' center injuring his hand and elbow while finishing a dunk, meant the Bucks were playoff bound without their elite big man. That didn't go so well.
All three guys have worked this summer to gear up for a return to the NBA. And they'll all make a huge impact when they return -- Griffin will make the Clips relevant again, Oden will give the Blazers the low-post presence they sorely need, and Bogut will return the Bucks to contention in the Eastern Conference. All three have great things in their futures.
But no one has a brighter future than a healthy Greg Oden -- if that man exists, that is.