Las Vegas -- I am around NBA players often. I do not blink when I see guy who's seven feet tall. I think nothing of craning my neck to speak with pro athletes. Then I met Greg Oden. I blinked.
I have been reading about Oden for two years now. In case you don't know who he is, he's been recognized as the best high school player for the last two years and he probably will be the No. 1 overall pick next year. He would've been No. 1 this year and, sorry Andrew Bogut, he might've been last year, too. He went to school in Indy and is now at Ohio State.
He is 18 but he is a man. He might be able to pass for 25 or 30. Heck, he could pass for LeBron James' older brother. He's tall, he's built, his fingers are the size of hot dogs. His forearms are thick and you could use his shoulders for coat rack. He's not a man-child, he's a man.
From what I've been told and I can see from his frame, he appears he could be athletic. He told me that he doesn't think he's ready for the NBA yet because he's got some things to clean up with his game. Maybe so, but he's got the body to be another Shaquille O'Neal-type player.
I haven't been able to watch him because he has a wrist injury so I can't tell if he has the game as everyone says. But I do know this, I'm going to be watching him for years to come. So will you.