I know you are young, I know you have only played a few games, and I also know that you had to take an entire year off because of a major knee surgery, but seriously, show me some anger. Show me some fire Greg Oden.
Jason Quick (of the Oregonian) brought up probably the most interesting note I've heard yet on Greg. This will be paraphrased but basically he said that guys like Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen (the greats of the game) didn't need anything to get them going before each game. Every night, they just knew how to turn it on; it was part of their chemical make-up or DNA. With Greg, you just don't have that. Essentially, he needs someone to light a fire under his ass to really get him angry and get his blood pumping enough to make a difference on the court. "Bringing it" is not natural to Oden. That...is not good.
Tonight against the Phoenix Suns, I really noticed what Jason Quick was referring to. Instead of looking at this game as the opportunity of his life against Shaq and coming out with blood boiling, he just faded away into the bench. He even had chances tonight to take on Stoudemire, whom we all know is not a top notch defensive player, and couldn't come through. And sure, foul trouble played a part in his limited court time but even if he had 30 minutes tonight, he wouldn't have made a difference.
I need him to make a statement before I can ever truly become committed to the thought that this guy is going to take this franchise to incredible places. If I have to see another image of his frowning face on the bench, I'm going to turn the channel. Why is it that he's either frowning and getting all weepy and down on himself, or he's "back to being the old Greg." Where is the consistency? The only consistent thing we've seen with him so far is damn injuries.
I could also care less that he has a ton of pressure on him and huge expectations to live up to. So do Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Chris Paul and Paul Pierce, yet they continually find a way, year after year, to bring their best. Pressure is something that comes with the territory and until he stops pouting at every mistake, he'll never be what Portland needs him to be.
Maybe he's just missing those intangibles that the greats are born with? For Blazer fans (and myself), I hope Jason Quick is wrong.
On a side note: Can he quit with that obnoxious swooping/leg kicking/backboard slapping annoyance of a dunk? Just dunk the damn ball and come back down. You don't need to try and rip the basket down with each dunk there big guy. You practically kicked Amare Stoudemire in the face tonight because you are incapable of just dunking and dropping straight to the floor.