Monday , Dec , 29 , 2008 C.Y. Ellis

Greg Oden Avoiding Teammates on the Road?

Paul Allen’s customized jet has a bedroom at the back. The bedroom is for Allen’s personal use, and while the Trail Blazers utilize the 757 aircraft "Blazer One" for travel during the NBA season, Allen’s room has been off limits to players.

All, except one.

Greg Oden used the bedroom last year so he could stretch his injured leg out on flights. And even this season, team insiders tell you the now-healthy Oden will sometimes disappear to the back of the plane, and close the door, and spend the flight by himself while his teammates socialize up front.

I bring this up today because the franchise has one set of standards, rules and expectations for the majority of players — and apparently another for Oden. And this is how a team aiming to make the playoffs for the first time in five seasons ends up starting a player at center who hasn’t earned it.