He missed his first seven games at Ohio State with a right wrist injury. He missed all of last season following major surgery to his right knee. He missed six games early this season with a right foot sprain.
Meanwhile, the 6-foot-10, 215-pound Durant, who many thought would snap like a twig once he joined the NBA, started all 35 games in college and has missed just three games so far as a pro while starting every game he’s played.
Because Oden has been sidelined with injuries, it’s unfair to label him a bust.
Durant, a landslide winner for 2007-08 rookie of the year, said labeling Oden a bust would be "absurd.”
There’s also no denying Durant is well ahead of Oden.
Tonight will be Durant’s 129th game in the NBA and Oden’s 43rd.
With this discrepancy, it’s impossible to compare the two.
Oden did not play last season, which qualified him as a rookie this season.
To date, the 2007 top pick ranks behind Derrick Rose, Russell Westbrook, Brook Lopez, Kevin Love, O.J. Mayo and maybe a few others in 2008’s talented rookie group.
The only place Thunder coach Scott Brooks has seen Oden is on tape.
"I haven’t seen him in person ever,” Brooks said. "So it’s going to interesting to see how he plays live, but on film he’s really good.”
Denver Nuggets coach George Karl said he wouldn’t be surprised if someday Durant led the NBA in scoring.
Who knows? Oden might someday lead the league in rebounds and blocked shots.
We’ll see. There’s still plenty of time. Durant turned 20 last September and Oden turned 21 just 12 days ago.
Tonight they face each other ... finally.
475-3099. John Rohde can be heard Monday-Friday from 6-7 p.m. on The Sports Animal Network, including AM-640 and FM-98.1.