Amazingly, after being conjoined nearly two years ago, tonight marks the first time Greg Oden and Kevin Durant have joined each other on the same NBA court.
The only occasion Durant and Oden played against each other was at the 2006 McDonald’s High School All-American Game in San Diego, where Durant had 25 points and five rebounds while earning co-MVP honors with Arizona signee Chase Budinger.
"But that’s not a real game,” Durant said.
Tonight’s game inside the Ford Center is the real deal, not that Durant circled it on his calendar.
"I’m sure he hasn’t, either,” Durant said of Oden.
Oden acknowledged there was a lot of hype.
"We’re going into our own careers now,” Oden said after Thursday’s practice. "Kevin’s doing his thing, and I’m still trying to figure mine out. It’s different.”
Two years ago, the former Seattle SuperSonics had one of the easiest decisions in NBA Draft history.
The draft was a tossup between Oden and Durant as the No. 1 pick. No other player was an option.
Portland had the first pick and selected Oden, a freshman out of Ohio State.
Seattle picked second and selected Durant, a freshman out of Texas. Had the Trail Blazers selected Durant, the Sonics would have tabbed Oden.
Durant shrugs off being bypassed by Portland.
"As a competitor, I would have loved to have gone No. 1, but I think everything happened for a reason,” said Durant, the league’s sixth leading scorer at 25.1 points. "They (the Blazers) picked him for a great reason. He’s a great player.”
As tough as the past two seasons have been for the Sonics/Thunder, imagine the struggles had Durant gone to Portland and had the injury riddled Oden joined the Thunder?
The 7-foot-1, 285-pound Oden can’t seem to stay healthy, especially on his right side.