On Oden and Yao

2009 December 7
by rahat huq

“Point being, we are now bound together by a common hope: that our two talented and beloved big men can come back to fill the void their absence has left behind; that we can watch them go head-to-head once more, unburdened by the pain of the past and instead enjoying the sight of two of the game’s premiere big men battling each other at the height of their powers.

Their cities deserve such a sight. So, too, do their teams. But more than anyone, this Promethean pair deserves it. Thus, it is for them, and for all of us, that I hold out hope. I know they won’t give up. Neither, then, will I.”

As Jason Friedman so eloquently put it, “we are now bound together by a common hope.”

The Houston Rockets and Portland Trail Blazers seek solace in the comfort of company.  From an unspoken rivalry in management and their 6 game battle upon the hardwood floors, to their newfound common consternation, it truly can be said that misery acquaints strange bedfellows.

With that said, I can’t empathize at the level which has been assumed of our fanbase.  Frankly, when Yao was ruled out for the year, I only felt a calm numbness; his injury was the realization of a foregone conclusion.  Luck had simply run out, the odds merely validated.

In my eyes, Yao’s 77 game ‘09 campaign was house money; a suspension of inevitability.  The 21 year old Oden seemed past his problems, finally displaying the defensive prowess for which he was so widely heralded.  For Greg, only greener pastures had lay ahead.  Greg had a future.  Yao, to me, was already nearing the end.

This apparent belittlement of my own grief may come as odd.  It is true that Yao’s injury abruptly thwarted an outside hope for the title.  This is clearly significant.  But it did not carry the long term ramifications that make this blow so crippling for Blazer Nation.  It did not plant angst of the unraveling of a dynasty foretold.

Time will tell how Oden recovers from this latest setback.  He has youth at his aid and by all accounts, an unyielding resolve.  But I can’t feel the pain of the Rose Garden for lack of similitude; I can only sympathize and offer condolence.  I wasn’t there when Houstonians wondered if Ralph would ever again be the same.  I was only there when for Yao, the writing on the wall became legible.  To me, the latter cannot compare to the case of Greg Oden.

4 Responses leave one →
  1. tobepg permalink
    December 8, 2009

    Oh, you’re known as cabbage in clutchfans. I knew that because I saw the the Artest Experience here, which was posted in CF before.

    It’s geat to find your blog here. As a Chinese, I find it’s a challenge to read your articles, because of the sophisticated vocabulary. I guess, it’s tough for common Americans, either.

    Ccoud you use plain and simple words? Forget it, if you think that’s your style.

    Your obersavtion is awesome.

  2. Sean Musick (Mikol13) permalink
    December 8, 2009

    Great writing and analysis as always. I read you everyday. I think I could speak for most at clutch and say congrats you’ve earned it. Espn and Truehoop are lucky to have you.

  3. rahat huq permalink*
    December 8, 2009

    tobeg: Thanks for reading. To address your concerns, I can’t disclose much at the moment, but there’s a plan to make the blog more accessible to the Chinese readership a bit down the line.

  4. Shmuel permalink
    December 8, 2009

    Rahat: Great blog. I just discovered it this morning while reading about it on the espn nba blog. Only problem is I’m a knicks fan. Do you know of any quality knicks blogs for me to read? Either way the Rockets continue to impress. It is remarkable what they have already accomplished this season without Yao. What’s the latest on tracy? Any timetable for his return? Would you even want him back on the team at this point?

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