Thursday, June 14, 2007

Greg Oden chat

I didn't end up listening to the live chat Jason Quick did with Greg Oden today, so I downloaded it and am listening to it now. Also, Oden's blog has a great story today about getting to sit down with Bill Russell, Bill Walton, David Robinson, Patrick Ewing, and Bob Lanier. That's some pretty good company, and it's a nice little post about learning from them. I get more and more excited about this kid being a Blazer each day we get closer to the draft.

Some of the questions that people have submitted are pretty lame, but I think Oden has responded gracefully and answered them all well. He just responded to one about his lack of offensive initiative by referencing his injured wrist and then taking a veiled shot at Matta's coaching ability. He also just said that he originally suggested to Matta that he should red shirt when he first injured his wrist.

He's pretty happy that a lot of his friends are talking about how much bigger he looks. He considers that a compliment.

The thing he'll miss most about Ohio State is interacting with the student body.

SHOCK! Losing the national championship left a bad feeling in Oden's mouth. Wow, I would never have guessed that. Sheesh Quick, lame question. But at least Oden's anxious to get back on the court to get the bad feelings from the championship out of his head.

He plans to participate in summer league and Team USA.

The possible summer league lineup for Portland should absolutely demolish everyone else in Vegas. Oden sounds genuinely excited about the potential of playing with Aldridge, Roy, Rodriguez, and Webster.

Oden just scoffed at the notion that he doesn't care enough about excelling. His answer to those people? "Look at my record." Man, I have a huge crush on this guy.

Now Oden is talking about that event I already mentioned. Oden says that being in the room with those legends made him feel "like a little peon."

Oden wanted to talk to David Robinson more than any of the others, but he says that Bill Russell spoke the most. Robinson stressed that Oden needs to have realistic expectations and know that it will take time to become as good as he can be.
Oden says he's been working on his jumper and people will be surprised by it. He says that his range is out to about 17 feet.

He's been doing a twenty minute two ball dribbling drill for warm-ups, and he credits that for helping him develop his ball handling skills.

I think Quick's about to ask Oden on a date...nope, just asking him if he'll get involved with the community in Portland. It sounds like Oden could interact with the city a bit like Walton did.

Oden's summer movie review: Knocked Up was hilarious. He saw it twice, one of those times in Orlando with Josh McRoberts and JJ Redick. Oden thinks this movie was funnier than Wedding Crashers. Oden didn't like the second Hostel movie. Nice work there, Greg.

Oden likes being able to share his thoughts on the blog, and says that people have to edit it so he doesn't share too much on his blog. That's fantastic. The type of stuff they're cutting out of the blog? Detail stuff, but he's not supposed to talk about it. Geez.

Oden says that no one should pay $50 just to watch him, but they should pay it to come watch their team represent the city, play good basketball, have fun, and compete. Although Oden says he did pay to see LeBron.

Oden says that when Verejao got the ball on Tuesday, everyone in the crowd was saying "NO" together.

Good question: Quick just asked Oden if he's been studying the Blazers and the team's history. Russell even told him that he knew everything about all the guys on the team before he joined the Celtics. Oden says he's going to do some research about the Blazers, and that Walton already told him some things. In addition to that, Oden has already met Freddie Jones. They've been friends since Jones played in Indiana. That's nice.

Oden sees benefits to playing on a young team and on a veteran team, and doesn't have a preference.

Oden would love to lean on Bill Russell for advice in the future and was really glad for the chance to listen to him. Oden gave Russell his phone number, and he plans on emailing Russell soon.

Ooh, here are some questions about Oden and Mike Conley, Jr. Oden repeats what he's said before, that Conley wants to get out from Oden's shadow and prove himself, even though Conley would never say that.

Another good question, this one about Oden's knowledge of Maurice Lucas and his reputation as an enforcer. Walton told Oden that Lucas was the best Blazer player ever, and Oden met Lucas in Orlando, but not much else. Still, to have Walton say that about Lucas, that's pretty good. Wow.

Oden says that the main reason he has the beard is that he's too lazy to cut it off.

Apparently Oden only has a few nicknames: GO and Big G. Those are both lame. Hopefully Dave at Blazer's Edge will come up with some good new ones. (Here's what he did for Sergio Rodriguez and Gilbert Arenas.)

Another great questions, wondering what number Oden would want in Portland. 20 has already been retired (it was Maurice Lucas's number).

Which Florida guy was tougher to guard? The jumper of Horford was harder to deal with, but Noah's height and moves were tough to deal with.

The workout schedule has been impacted by some of the media things that Oden has been doing, but not too much.

This is what Oden has to say to Blazers fans:
I'm going to be in Portland on the 19th, I'm probably going to go out and get something to eat, don't be afraid to say hi, 'cause I'm going to be going in there I'm going to be able to meet people and see how the people are in Portland so don't be afraid to say hi. Just, if I'm eating, you might not want to come over there, 'cause that's when I get in my dog mode. If you come over there you might come back missing a limb.
That finished the interview. I really enjoyed listening, and hope that Oden does join the Blazers on June 28. If you want to listen for yourself, here it is.

1 comment:

Lewis said...

Nice psuedo-running diary. As someone that attended 1 Ohio State game in the Big Ten tournament, I can vouch for the fact that Thad Matta isn't the greatest coach (great recruiter though) and his lack of an offense SEVERELY hindered Oden's offensive #'s.