Charles Barkley says Greg Oden is no Bill Russell yet
Some leftover thoughts from Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith at Monday's preseason TNT media lunch:
Smith on the Rockets: "I think Houston is going to win it all this year. I took the curse off them [that I put on] after they released me [in 1996, after he was part of two NBA champions]."
Barkley on the Trail Blazers: "I think people are overrating Portland. Clearly, they're going to be better. But if you think they're going to go from not making the playoffs to winning the championship, that's not going to happen."
Barkley on comparing Greg Oden to Bill Russell: "Other than them both being black, that's pretty much it. Bill Russell is probably one of the three or four greatest players ever. That's one thing we really do that's stupid in the NBA . . . I told Michael, you've killed about 25 people saying they're the next Michael Jordan. Next Karl Malone. Next Patrick Ewing. Next Charles Barkley. There's no next. Greg Oden has not even scored an NBA basket, and he's the next Bill Russell. I'm like, those two things don't go together."
(That was before Oden's NBA debut Tuesday night, after which he still hadn't scored an NBA basket.)