BACK IN THE BOX! Returned last season as the host of "the Penalty Box", the post game call in show for Rochester Americans broadcasts on Sports 1280 WHTK, as well as studio host for game broadcasts and intermission updates. Looking forward to starting a second straight season this upcoming year.
Weekend morning newscaster on WHAM.
Sometime fill in host for Bob Matthews or John DiTullio, as well as hosting call-in shows during Yankees and Red Wings rain delays.
Graduated from West Irondequoit high school (in 1984) where I was the sports director at the student run radio station, WIRQ, as well as the "voice of the Indians" football and basketball radio broadcasts.
Graduated with a B.A. degree from Florida Southern College (in1988). Announced FSC basketball games on local cable TV. Also announced local high school football games on local cable TV.
Have worked for WBBF-AM, WPXY-AM, Sportsradio 990, and then moved on to Clear Channel in 1997, where I have worked for WHAM and WHTK since as a board operator, producer, newscaster, traffic reporter, weatherman and sports host, as well as all-around good guy.
I am also psyched to be back on the air hosting "the Penalty Box", the post game call in show for the Rochester Americans radio broadcasts on 107--3 FM and 1280 AM.
I recently also started reading newscasts on Newsradio 1180, WHAM. It is a good opportunity for me, although I never saw myself as a "news guy". I am still enjoying the opportunity.
I remember it like it was yesterday. A buddy of mine and I were having a spirited argument at a local watering hole. It was a week or two before the 2007 NBA draft.
I was saying that Kevin Durant would be the best basketball player to come into the NBA since Michael Jordan. A 6'9" kid with skills of a point guard, I said Durant could do it all. He could post up, he could take people off the dribble. He could play in the open court. He could hit the three. He would cause matchup problems for everyone who tried to guard him. There wasn't a power forward in the league quick enough to guard him, and there wasn't a small forward strong enough to guard him. I said Durant would be a HUGE star in the league and possibly the best since M.J.
My buddy disagreed completely. He said Durant was too one dimensional, that he couldn't pass. He was too selfish. He wasn't a good enough shooter from the outside. He was too wiry to post up.
As positive as I was about Durant's ultimate success, my friend was just as positive about the eventual success of Greg Oden. He said Oden was Patrick Ewing with an attitude. He said no one had come into the league as a pure low post player with offensive skills and a bad-ass defensive mindset...EVER! He said Oden would be a better offensive version of Bill Russell. He said he would be an unstoppable force on both sides of the ball.
Well, by now we know who won that argument don't we? Durant has played 356 games in his career, averaging 26.5 points per game and 6.5 rebounds per game. He has averaged over a block and a steal per game, and shot nearly 47% for his career, and those percentages have gone up nearly every year.
Oden has spent most of his career on the injured list. He has now played 82 games in his career, pretty much a full NBA season. He has averaged 9.4 points per game and 7.3 rebounds. He has only averaged 1.4 blocks per game, but nearly four fouls per game. When he HAS been on the floor, he has often been in such foul trouble that he can't be aggressive enough to block many shots. Part of that is due to his injuries slowing him down.
Oden had season ending knee surgery in his rookie year. He played 61 games in 08-09, showing his amazing potential, but hurt himself again the next year, playing only 21 games before that season ending surgery. He spent the whole season last year rehabbing. He continued rehabbing this year, and then, fifteen months after announcing he was having possible career ending microfracture surgery on his left knee, he announced he will be having the same procedure on his other knee. Now he will be out until the end of the 2012-13 season at the earliest.
The Trail Blazers, who took Oden 1st overall in that 2007 NBA draft, one pick ahead of Durant, had to be feeling a sense of deja-vue. This is the same organization that drafted the immortal Sam Bouie 2nd overall in the 1984 NBA draft, one pick ahead of Michael Jordan.
Bouie had the same injury problems in his not so illustrious career. He would eventually come back from all his injury woes, and have a couple of halfway decent seasons, mainly for the New Jersey Nets, however, he was never close to the force the Blazers envisioned he would be.
Now Oden finds himself in the same situation, as do the Blazers. Portland has an obvious "investment" in him, but he is signed with them only through the end of this season. It is doubtful that they would offer him a contract after that, probably preferring to cut bait and let him walk, if he can at that point. Most likely, if Oden's career is to continue, it will be elsewhere, with a team that has enough money to make it worth the risk, which probably won't be much by then. Oden will never probably make the "big money" ever again, but he probably doesn't care.
Oden said on Monday that he has no plans of retiring. Well, that's refreshing to hear, but it probably isn't very realistic. Don't get me wrong though. I will be pulling for him, and I hope he can pull off a comeback. However, although I am far from a medical professional, I have enough common sense to know that lugging around a seven foot and 270 pound body on two legs that have both had serious knee surgeries can't be an easy thing.
We all want Oden to come back, and be a success. It would make for a great human interest story, as well as a "triumph of modern medicine and science" story. I just don't think it will ever happen, which is sad. Hey, it happens in sports though. Injuries are a part of any game. A cruel and unforgiving part, but a part nonetheless.
It's unfortunate, but I'm afraid Greg Oden will be fated as being "the guy who was drafted ahead of Kevin Durant".