I have been back in the United States for only a day, most of which has been spent catching up on sleep and working on a few jobs, and already I am exhausted of hearing about who the Portland Trailblazers will select with the 1st overall pick. With that being said, Chris still did an excellent job covering the story in a succinct way [Portland number 1].

Everyone is wondering whether Portland needs another big man and should select who many believe is the best player (Greg Oden) or select based on need and also get an amazing athlete (Kevin Durant). Could there be more to it than just playing ability, though?

What about marketability and endorsements? A marketing agent would definitely rather have Durant as a client, but would a team also benefit by having a more fan-appreciative personality that will be in more commercials? Would it bring more people to games while that team is slumping?

As of right now, Nike and Adidas are in a bidding war over the rights to Kevin Durant while Jim Gatto, NBA sports marketing manager for Adidas, has been quoted as saying, ” we feel Durant has more to offer [than Oden].” Adidas has been much less aggressive than Nike in its pursuit to sign Greg Oden [Big sellers don’t have to fill big shoes].

The Blazers cannot lose with either pick, but could they possibly gain in non-conventional ways based on the selection that is made?

-Darren Heitner

p.s. – Paul D.’s first post is below. Leave some feedback on whether you like the new column or not.