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The Morning According to Us

Movie popcorn in the training room?! Wait. Getty Images

How is it possible that we can already invoke the names of Bill Walton, Sam Bowie and Ralph Sampson—brilliant, tall talent cursed by a bad knee, bad foot…bad karma? How can we do that to Greg Oden, or ourselves? But when it already happens, when the man who looks like Bill Russell in a Just For Men commercial has to catch a charter flight home and skip a day on the road trip for yet another MRI, well…

We'll give it to Oden. It's hard to hype a team like the Blazers have been hyped, and his presence is the key. They are, to many, a perfectly constructed mansion that nobody has ever lived in. "Just let the paint dry," they tell us. Let the foundation settle so the creaks fade into nothingness. "It'll take about two years," they say. "Just give it time."

The problem of course is that many of the best NBA creations, the true masterpieces, are simply thrown together late, a product of breaking good fortune or even simply flawed all along. The Bulls won another three when a guy decided to just un-retire and a wacko power forward named Rodman came along. They were preceded by a Houston team we all knew wasn't the best, but MJ wanted to try baseball. Well there's two titles, flawed champion! The Celts won last year thanks to a trade that seemed inconcievable even weeks before it happened. They played a Lakers team who started last season looking wretched, but somehow came together almost by pure force of will. The Spurs have no glamour. They are massive wealth who won't move out of the 3-bedroom ranch they found in 1968. Too much of a pain.

Sometimes these things just happen. The best laid plans—and the Blazers do have 'em—can be dashed. The design in Portland is pristine, but man, the structural integrity.

Elsewhere…

Well, the Leopard Man is back out of the wild. You really should see this picture.

The Kraft Family is buying into an Israeli football league. Cool.

Marathons are really big, and they don't seem to be shrinking.

Diego Maradona, whose been both hero and in rehab countless times, is now a coach. This could be a beautiful mess.

Marion Jones tells Oprah her career will be tarnished. Will be? Um, it ain't already?

Video of Dodgers pitcher Brad Penny getting into a brawl. Why not?

Horse-donkey mixes make an Iowa golf course their home. Call Disney! Wait, that's us.