I’m not a Blazers fan. I haven’t even been to a game in a few years. But damn if I don’t adore Greg Oden. He’s a doll -- just a big, sweet 20-year-old kid, really, plus a few million bucks. He hasn’t quite grasped yet who or what he is or even where he is – who knows how long that will last, once he finally takes his place in the NBA next season. Here’s his most recent blog entry – forgive him his spelling, grammar and punctuation:
“Two days ago I went to the Kanye West, Rihanna concert. N.E.R.D. and Lupe Fiasco were there also. It was a very good concert. There were alot of people and great energy, it was held at the Rose Garden in Portland. I heard and knew almost every song that was performed, so i was jammin all night. I also had the chance to meet Rihanna and Kanye. I have been a fan of theirs since they both came out, but I have had a crush on Rihanna since I first saw her on TV. When I met her i froze up. I had all this great stuff in my head about what i was gonna say to her, but none of it came out. I ended up saying the cheeziest thing ever: "umm, who are you," I could of punched myself. Her beauty did that to me though. She is nice and when i get that picture i will blow it up and put it in my room. Hopefully i could meet her again and not freeze up. When i went back to our suite i watched her with binoculars and didn't look at nothing else. After coming down from cloud 9 from seeing her perform and meeting her, Kanye West had a unbelievable performance, so that ended the best concert i ever been to.”
He’s going to hang a picture of Rihanna in his room. Awwww… He’s 20-going-on-13 (with a face like a 40-year-old). Here’s another blog entry he wrote that just blew me away – what 19-year-old thinks about this stuff, especially a kid who is being paid millions to play ball?:
“So i'm sure you all have seen the news lately and what's been happening in China. I just wanted to take a minute to send my condolences to everyone in China. Something like this should never happen so when it does it takes the power of everyone coming together to help make things better. This just makes me appreciate everything i have that much more and makes me realize how truly lucky we all are. My thoughts go out to all of the families and everyone that was affected by the earthquake. Stay strong.”
Love him. His mom must be so proud of him, and not for his skills on the court.
Back in 1969, my parents befriended future NBA all-star Bob Lanier when he was a student at St. Bonaventure University (class of ’70) – he had just flunked my dad’s Spanish class so he spent a lot of time that summer at my parents’ house, making up his grade. It was before I was born, but my brothers (all under the age of 10 at the time) remember him – a friendly 6’11” guy with famously huge size 22 feet. He went on to play for the Pistons and the Bucks and later founded the NBA’s Stay in School program, and my mom kept in touch with him through the ‘90s. Anyway, maybe Oden is this generation’s Lanier, except way better.
I’m actually looking forward to the Blazers’ ’08-’09 season, so I can root for my sweet lil’ Greg.