The 2007 NBA Draft was filled with talent. Names like Al Horford, Mike Conley Jr., Marc Gasol, Joakim Noah, Nick Young, Wilson Chandler, Marco Belinelli.
The top two picks in that draft were Greg Oden and Kevin Durant.
Oden was selected first by the Portland Trail Blazers in the ’07 NBA Draft. Durant went second to the Seattle Supersonics.
Their college careers were great. In his lone season at Ohio State, Oden averaged 15.7 points and 9.6 rebounds.
Oden played on a Buckeyes team that went 35–4 overall and 15–1 in Big Ten play. They’d lose to Florida in the 2007 National Championship.
The 7-footer made NCAA All-Region team and other honors included: 2006-07 All-Big Ten, 2007 All-Big Ten Tourney, Big Ten All-Defense, Big Ten All-Freshman, 2006-07 Big Ten DPOY, 2006-07 Big Ten ROY and Big Ten Tourney MVP.
In his lone season at Texas, Durant averaged 25.8 points and 11.1 rebounds per game.
While at Texas, the 6’11 Durant became an Consensus All-American, Wooden Award and Naismith Award winner. Additionally, he recevied the Big 12 Tourney MVP and the 2006-07 Big 12 Rookie of the Year.
Durant and Oden’s NBA career couldn’t be any more different.
Durant’s won two NBA Championships as a member of the Golden State Warriors. Teaming up with Kyrie Irving and Caris LeVert, he’s working on his third as a member of the Brooklyn Nets.
After a series of injuries and actually missing his rookie season and would eventually be waved by the Blazers. He signed with the Miami Heat in 2013, more than three years after last appearing in an NBA game and played with the team through the 2014 NBA Playoffs. Oden has not returned to the NBA since, but has appeared in the CBA before finding success in Ice Cube’s Big 3 basketball league.
Appearing on the Heavy Live With Scoop B Show with Sean Deveney and myself, I asked retired NBA legend, Michael Redd, a former Ohio State Buckeye like Oden if he thought Oden was better than Durant going into the the 2007 NBA Draft. “Better, No,” he said.
“Dominant? Yes. I don’t know if better and dominant are the same but, when Greg was healthy, he was dominant and you could project that he was going to be the next big time center since Shaq maybe, to dominate the NBA. And when he was healthy in Portland, he was tough to deal with. But Kevin obviously, he’s an enigma man. He’s something that we’ve never seen before. So, it’s hard between Portland and Seattle at that moment who to pick; Greg was just so dominant though. It was hard to pass that up. But Kevin…my goodness. Kevin has the – I don’t know with his Achilles now…he had the ability to be one of the greatest ever. He already is but literally, that rarified air talent…yeah. He’s at another level. Another level. 7 feet tall and being able to do what he does; he can handle; he’s become an excellent defender – he doesn’t get the credit that he deserves in that regard. There’s no weaknesses offensively…not that I know of. So he’s; some would say that he’s the greatest scorer. I can’t officially say that, I gotta go with Mike but, for sure his bag is ENDLESS.”