Sunday, July 29, 2007

Picture Day for Rookies

You remember Picture Day from your school days, right? I have vague memories of bad sweaters and worse haircuts; maybe your recollections are somewhat better.

It's a little different when the NBA's rookie class gets together for its annual Picture Day, which was held Friday at the Knicks/Liberty Training Facility in Tarrytown, N.Y. Sonics top-five picks Kevin Durant and Jeff Green were two of the 44 players on hand.

Here's Durant and Green (who need to decide whether they're smiling or not):

And here's Durant and Greg Oden together in their new jerseys for the first time (both pictures by Fernando Medina/NBAE/Getty):

John Schumann from was there and blogged the goings-on, finding Durant a slight favorite over Oden for Rookie of the Year honors.

The rookies also took pictures for their Topps and Upper Deck rookie cards, and the New York Times had a good story about the new stars once collecting basketball cards themselves.

"When a kid out there gets my card, I want him to be excited about it,” Durant is quoted as saying. "When I was a little younger, I got Allen Iverson’s rookie card and I was ecstatic. But then I’d get other cards, and I’d be like, Oh, man, why did I get this guy? I remember getting a Howard Eisley card and not being too thrilled about it."

Guess I won't be trading Durant that 1994-95 Fleer Howard Eisley rookie card from his brief stint with the Minnesota Timberwolves.

My cousin, who is 10 and a budding Sonics fan, showed off his new basketball card collection this morning at breakfast and it was a trip down memory lane for my brother and I, both big collectors in the early 1990s.

Durant and Green both did interviews with ESPNews while they were at Friday's shoot. Check out Durant's via this link and then use the NBA tab on's video player to see the Green interview.