|Oden doesn't work out with Sonics, but learns|
|Written by Admin|
|Friday, 22 June 2007 13:10|
- The relative anonymity of walking around Seattle instead of smaller Portland was refreshing. Although the 7-footer is about to become a millionaire from the NBA draft, he was able to go to the movies Thursday night and have only one person stop him to pose for a picture.
- He doesn't mind being considered a franchise savior before he has even played his first NBA game. ``I'm OK with it,'' he said Friday, smiling. ``I don't know if it's going to happen.''
- Seattle's hilly streets would be great for skateboarding.
- And having his mom Zoe, a rehabilitation technician at a hospital in their hometown of Indianapolis, along is keeping the 19-year-old All-American grounded.
``My mom, she's trying to brush my hair everywhere I go, telling me 'Take that off. You can't wear that,''' the personable Oden said, after a morning with executives and doctors from the SuperSonics, who own the second overall pick in Thursday's draft.
His quick trip through Seattle was a contrast to his ballyhooed visit to Portland.
The Blazers, owners of the top pick Thursday, sent players to the airport to meet Oden and encouraged the media to be there, too. Then they put him through an open workout Wednesday that was so vigorous, Oden said he was out of breath.
The low-key Seattle trip was essentially a fallback visit, in case the Blazers surprise many people and take Kevin Durant first overall. Durant, who is due to visit Sonics executives on Sunday, was in Portland on Friday and impressed Blazers general manager Kevin Pritchard, who said, ``That was as impressive a workout as any I've seen in here.''
Oden met with Sonics owner Clay Bennett, new general manager Sam Presti and new assistant GM Scott Perry. Presti and Perry later climbed into the back of a white Lincoln Krystal stretch limousine with Oden and his mom, apparently on their way to lunch. Oden remained in his oversized jersey-like shirt, baggy jeans and white court shoes all day.
``I didn't work out, so I didn't sweat,'' Oden said, flashing another grin. ``It was just one of those things my agent told me not to. I just wanted to get a good feel for the organization. I still feel I learned a lot.''
He also got another examination of his right wrist, on which he had surgery to repair ligament damage a year ago. Portland checked it out on Wednesday.
``Just got back from the doctors. My wrist is fine. I can do this,'' Oden said, rotating his right hand clockwise in the air.
After getting a late start his freshman year at Ohio State because of the wrist surgery, Oden led the Buckeyes in scoring (15.7) and rebounding (9.6) and topped the Big Ten in shooting percentage (.616). The Buckeyes went 35-4 and advanced to their first national championship game since 1962, where they lost to Florida. Oden had 25 points and 12 rebounds in the title game.
Oden said he doesn't care much whether he goes to Portland or Seattle. Per the league's collective bargaining agreement, the difference in rookie salary scale between the top pick and the second pick is $3.855 million versus $3.476 million, with a similar difference next year. The first two years of the contracts are guaranteed.
``It'd be nice. I'd be with a great group of guys who have gone No. 1,'' Oden said. ``But at two, there'd be a great group of guys there.
``First round is guaranteed money, that's all I know.''
Oden planned to spend the weekend at home in Indiana before traveling Monday to New York for the draft.