NBA Season Tips Off With Oden's First Outing
Greg Oden of the Portland Trail Blazers
The 2008-09 NBA season tips off Tuesday with a double-header on TNT featuring 2007’s No. 1 draft pick, Greg Oden, in his first regular-season outing.
Even though the Portland Trail Blazer big man sat out his first attempt at a rookie season while recovering from knee surgery, Inside The NBA" ’s Charles Barkley has high hopes for the 7 foot center.
"I think [the past year] gave him a chance to get stronger and work on his offensive skills," Barkley says. "[But] he's not going to just walk out there and dominate."
Certainly not in this opening match up against the Los Angeles Lakers (10:30 pm/ET, TNT) — Barkley’s favorite to win it all this season. Earlier in the evening the Boston Celtics face off against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers, who came up short against the Celts in last season’s Eastern Conference semis (7:30 pm/ET, TNT). But first the green team gets one last moment to bask in their 2007-08 NBA championship glory with a ring ceremony.
"I'm gonna be really emotional," says Celtics captain Paul Pierce. "I hope I can just hold in the tears."
ESPN has a season-opening doubleheader of its own on Wednesday. First up, the Phoenix Suns at the San Antonio Spurs (Oct. 29, 8 pm/ET), followed by the Lakers facing the L.A. Clippers at 10:30 pm/ET. —Danny Spiegel