For weeks there have been "whispers" about Oden toying with the idea of staying in school another year.Â Today there was a quote from Durant's father saying that he's considering bypassing the draft for another year of hitting the books.Â When I heard these reports, the first thing that popped into my head was "yeah, right."Â In fact, the next thing that popped into my head was "hmm, I'm hungry."Â That's about the amount of thought I gave it.Â Yet, like nervous nellies, I got emails, PMs, and at least 3 forum topics started about the subject.Â Really???Â Are we going to take this seriously???Â Like, at all???Â
Ok, I'll humor you.Â When everything in the world is riding on the fact that we currently have a 50/50 shot at getting one of these guys, I guess that is going to make some people nervous.Â Still, this is silly at best.Â Don't talk to me about Leinart or Noah.Â Neither of those guys was this primed for moving to the next level.Â Leinart wanted to enjoy the SoCal life a little longer and Noah had no need to rush to cash in.Â I'm not familiar with Oden or Durant's financial situations, nor do I care.Â I can't for the life of me see them turning down theÂ chance toÂ sign an endorsement deal that will dwarf their rookie salary.Â There's nothing more for them to do on the college level.Â They are going pro.Â Bank on it.
So why do we always hear athletes talk about coming back?Â Peer pressure for one thing.Â They hear every day classmates and teammates and boosters and cheerleaders and anyone else you can think of begging them to come back another year.Â If they come out and say "heck no, I'm one-and-done baby," that makes them look cold and less likable.Â So they play coy, offer up false hope, and enjoy the benefits of an adoring campus trying to hold on to them.Â But when the season ends and the cheerleaders go home for the summer, they'll look at the bottom line and sign on it.Â Just like they would have last year had David Stern given them the opportunity.
So don't fret.Â There's a greater chance of them getting hurt than being healthy and turning down the chance to jump to the pros.Â In fact, that is a pretty good thing to worry about.Â If either one of these guys goes down with a big injury, then you can panic.