Wednesday, June 06, 2007

A Kid at Heart

Greg Oden has just made what is likely the final blog post of college career. The last line of his post is the most telling:

"I'm about to be put in a man's world, letting go of that kid in me is hard."

A few other lines:

"...everyone else is ready to leave for summer but me. I'm wanting to stay for every last minute and enjoy this because you can't get it back."

"[College is] the place when you get fed up of being with your parents, you get to get away."

I realize it's foolish to make conclusions based on a few sentences, but Oden really sounds like a guy who turned pro because it's what was expected of him, not because it's what he really wants. It's easy to forget that inside of that 40 year-old body, there really is a 19 year-old kid. In some ways, it's refreshing to see an elite athlete embracing his youth rather than the big pimpin' life that awaits him in the NBA.

But at the same time, this has to scare the hell out ya if you're a Portland fan. In the past, the NBA has devoured plenty of 18 year-olds who tried to make the leap straight from high school to the League before they were emotionally ready. Hopefully, he won't be another casualty.

Of course, Shaquille ONeal has the emotional maturity of a 12 year old, and he's done just fine.



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