Saturday, September 22, 2007
Next Big Thing(s)
Out of a high school class with some stellar players, including Derrick Rose, Michael Beasley and Eric Gordon, two names stand out from the others. Names that seem like they will almost always be used in the same sentence, the way Magic and Larry are. The two best players out of the college class of ’07 are OJ Mayo and Kevin Love, and they better get used to each other, because they’re going to be seeing a lot of one another.
The comparisons are inevitable, not because they play the same type of game, not because they have the same background, but because they’re both great and they’re not exactly doing anything to get away from each other. Since the McDonalds All-American Game, where they faced as East (Mayo) vs. West (Love), all eyes have been on them. The final score indicated a game as closely matched and even as these two, 114-112, with Love’s squad prevailing.
Kevin’s dad, Stan played in the NBA and he moved to Lake Oswego, Oregon from Santa Monica at an early age. He is a 6-10, 260 pound forward and he’s a huge offensive threat, using fundamentals in combination with creativity and straight last-one-to-leave-the-gym strength. He’s got the MVP awards, he’s got the championships as well as numerous citizenship and student/athlete awards.
OJ Mayo’s dad has been in and out of jail while his mother supported the family by herself. Mayo is a 6-4, 210 pound guard whose crazy athleticism and highflying dunks are complimented nicely with a silky J. He’s been on Youtube for pushing a ref, had his fair share of run-ins with the law and aspires to rebuild his community of Huntington, West Virginia.
To add to their numerous differences, Love is committed to UCLA while Mayo will be suiting up for USC.
Though these two lead very different personal lives, have different backgrounds and very different approaches to basketball, they will be compared, and they will be rivals. The beauty of basketball is that it transcends race, religion and reputation. The only thing that matters in this game, the same thing that makes these two rivals, is game. It’s what Larry and Magic shared, and it’s what Oden and Durant share. These two definitely got game, and there’s no doubt that you’ll be hearing about them for a while.