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Oden Up For Challenge; Reggie, Bird Never Get Old

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Jeff Rabjohns caught up with former Lawrence North Wildcat and current Portland Trailbalzer, Greg Oden at Petyton Manning's charity bowling event earlier this week. Oden faces a critical year in terms of his NBA development to show that he can stay healthy and impact games. Sounds like he's aware of the stakes and is ready to take on the challenge.

"This is going to be a big year," he said earlier this week before heading back to Portland to prepare for training camp. "Everybody comes in and has that first year, that get-used-to-the-league year. But you have to break out in your second year. You have to, and that's what I'm looking forward to."

Should be interesting to see how Oden does in fact react this year. From a playing standpoint he kind of has his back against the wall with no excuses to lean on. Will he come out swinging? Boy, I hope so.

Also, speaking of someone who always came out swinging, or at least shooting, Eight Points, Nine Seconds has a great post on my favorite Reggie moment. Reg's game winner in Game 4 of the 1998 Eastern Conference finals remains spine tingling for both the shot and Larry Bird's stoic reaction amidst the hysteria.