Sunday, June 24, 2007

Sports Guy Breakdown

ESPN.com's Bill Simmons, aka the Sports Guy, has been following the Oden-Durant debate through much of the NCAA season (especially after it became clear his beloved Celtics would have a chance at one of them). For the current edition of ESPN The Magazine, Simmons weighs in with his take:

COMPARISON TO NBA PLAYER

Worst-case scenario, Oden is the next Zo, averaging a 20/10, defending the rim, spearheading some 50-win seasons and, we can only hope, starting a brawl that leads to a Van Gundy brother hanging on his leg. Best case, he's a cross between Tim Duncan and Hakeem, an ├╝ber-athletic big who can wreck foes in a variety of ways. Most plausible scenario, he's Ewing: a perennial All-Star who is not quite good enough to win a title by himself.

I see Durant's worst case as a lankier, more benign Glenn Robinson. But I can't picture his best case or most plausible scenario, because there has never been anyone like him before. A 6'9" shooting guard with a 7'5" wingspan? And he's still growing? I see pieces of different players -- KG's body, Bob McAdoo's scoring, MJ's competitiveness, T-Mac's ability to attack the rim with either hand, Hakeem's fallaway, C-Webb's passing. But add it up and you get an original. Durant is the first iPod, or the plane the Wright brothers built.
EDGE: DURANT