A look back at fan reaction to Kevin Durant's pre-draft visit to Portland
When the Seattle SuperSonics relocated to Oklahoma City, prior to the 2008-2009 season, they arrived with a commodity who would immediately transform OKC into a hub of NBA basketball. That commodity is the all-world talent known as Kevin Durant.
While the Portland Trailblazers' decision to draft Ohio St.'s Greg Oden over Durant is well chronicled, what is sometimes forgotten is how much of a dialema this was for the people of Portland and the Blazers' organization.
The mountain of a man, who was raw and injury prone vs. the sleek, smooth, natural scorer. The Oden/Durant decision and current outcome has been strikingly similar to the Blazers' decision to draft Sam Bowie over Michael Jordan, back in 1984.
Lightening truly struck twice in Portland.
The greatest benefactor of Portland's ill-fated decision was the people of Oklahoma. One year later, the Sonics would head south and two years later, Durant would lead the NBA in scoring, while Oden's injury issues would totally define his early career.
Below are two pieces of video from shortly before the 2007 NBA Draft. The first clip shows Durant's much heralded arrival at Portland International Airport, where he is met by fellow Longhorn, the Blazers' LaMarcus Aldridge. The second video shows a sampling of Durant's outstanding workout at the Blazers' training facility.