When SportsCenter actually gets around to showing Blazers highlights (usually in the show's last segment) they always cite Oden's point total with disdain and incredulity.
It's like his seven or eight point is an affront to basketball. They seldom mention his rebounding totals or his block shots. They just seem angry that he didn't score 30 points.
Those familiar with the Blazers know Oden isn't even the team's third scoring option. The franchise doesn't need him put up points they need him to rebound and play defense.
I'm not saying the big guy is beyond reproach nor do I believe he's beyond criticism. It's just for a guy that's not had a run in with the law, and for someone extremely likable, ESPN seems to have a vested interest in seeing him fail.
Tony Kornheiser, host of ESPN's Pardon The Interruption, is fixated with Oden's injuries. He's so obsessed with Greg's boo-boos that he's oblivious to anything positive the former Buckeye does on the court.
In a five minute interview with Oden earlier this year, neither Kornheiser, nor his PTI partner Mike Wilbon, mentioned the Portland Trail Blazers. How can you interview an NBA player for five minutes and not mention the team he plays for?
It's obvious why he's treated the way he's treated. Not only does he play for a city most people at ESPN couldn't find on a map, but his selection as the number one overall draft pick in the 2007 NBA Draft did not go according to "The Plan."
The Portland Trail Blazers weren't supposed to win the NBA lottery that year. The Boston Celtics or the New York Knicks were (although the Blazers had better odds than the Knickerbockers).
Even though the C's went on to win the NBA Championship that year (and acquired a very productive Glenn Davis in that '07 draft)) the powers-that-be at ESPN still haven't been able to get over a marquee big man from a marquee school going to lowly old Portland.
At least that's how I see it. Maybe I'm crazy. Maybe I'm blinded by loyalty to my team. Just do me one favor, the next time you see the Blazers on SportsCenter pay close attention to how they talk about Greg Oden. If you do, I'm sure you realize I'm not as crazy as I sound.