LeBron James had one of the greatest rookie years in recent memory during the 2003-04 season. In just his fourth season, James led his club, filled with role players, to the NBA Finals. His accomplishments have simply been amazing thus far, but- of course- he still has room for improvement.
Not even LeBron James has lived up to the hype surrounding him before he stepped onto an NBA court. As good as his rookie year was, it didn't come close to what was expected of him. Those same expectations now haunt Greg Oden and Kevin Durant.
I like both of their public personas. I wish them well. I fear that if one of them doesn't live up to expectations immediately, he may lose confidence and never fulfill his potential. I would really like to see them both succeed. Durant, from the DC area, won't average 25 points a night his rookie year. Oden won't be Tim Duncan as a rookie. The San Antonio Spurs were the worst team when Duncan joined them and the next year they made the playoffs. But remember, David Robinson missed almost all of that first year and was healthy for Duncan's rookie season. Oden won't have one of the greatest centers of all time playing next to him his first year.
So tlet's lay off of them and just watch. Let's marvel at what they do when they do it, not at what they could do. Let's ignore their summer league games. Summer league is as important as the Iraq war; it's just the precursor to the real campaign.