Dear Greg Oden

April 02, 2007
April 02, 2007

Table of Contents
April 2, 2007

2007 NCAA Tournament Final Four
Pro Basketball

Dear Greg Oden

GOT TO KNOW you a bit over four days last week in San Antonio as you helped lead Ohio State into the Final Four. Can't remember meeting a nicer, more humble, funnier millionaire-to-be. You are 19, look 39 and act 29. You seem to love college, learning and your friends. You eat with the team managers just so you can talk about accounting. You've already signed up for biology, history and calculus for next quarter when you could've taken Intro to Lunch. That tells me you're still thinking about staying in school and stiff-arming the NBA for a while. It's the Clash in your head: Should I Stay or Should I Go? I've seen guys wrestle with this choice for years, so let me make it easy for you. When in doubt, make two lists and compare:

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—You're on a team you chose
—College coeds
—Dorm food sucks
—You're idolized daily by thousands

—Your mom, Zoe, will be happy because, as she says, "I want him to have something to fall back on"
—You may someday know the thrill of dotting the i
—Fun classes like the one you're in now, history of Rock and Roll
—You hate college officiating because "little guys bounce off you, and the refs call a foul on you," as you say
—Not missing the best days of your life
—Furthering yourself
—A chance to emulate four-year graduate David Robinson, your hero
—You have a $10 million insurance policy against career-ending injury while you're in college

—"The" Ohio State University
—You say you like college because your mom isn't around "to nag" you (nice)
—After an even better sophomore season, you'll enter the NBA as a hugely marketable star; ask Magic Johnson
—You get to cut down the nets
—You'll see your teammates in caps 'n' gowns

—You're famous for never jumping too early


—You're on a team a Ping-Pong ball chose
—Hotel hookers
—Room service really sucks
—You're crucified nightly by two drunks and a blowhorn
—Your accountant will be happy because he wants to have something to fall back on
—You may someday know the thrill of texting your agent
—Dull classes like the one you'd be in every day, history of Pick-and-Roll
—Against Shaq, you are the little guy

—Not missing "Days of Our Lives"
—Feathering your nest
—A chance to emulate one-and-done dropout Omar Cook, a zero
—O.K., you'll probably sign for $50 million in salary and shoe money as a rookie, but as they said in "Wall Street," how many yachts can you water-ski behind?
—"The" Internal Revenue Service
—When you turn pro, your mom says she plans on living "very close by" (Uh-oh)
—Go now, and you're just another tall nobody in baggy shorts; ask Kwame Brown

—The nets get to cut you down
—If you get drafted by Portland, you'll see your teammates in orange jumpsuits
—Why change now?

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