(No sign of Kevin Durant on the cover of Seattle Weekly.)

As already noted by The Blazers Evangelist and mocked by “Portland’s best blog” (says me, a Portland Monthly freelancer, and rest assured my tongue is not in cheek), the local press is rather fond of Mr. Oden.

This is not much of a surprise, going back to Jason Quick’s piece on the Oden tonsils.

…the team had come to the conclusion that Oden was being stretched in too many directions by media requests and public appearances.

The whole process — the interviews, photo shoots, autograph signings — had started to take a toll on Oden, whose normally sunny disposition had been replaced in Las Vegas by a sullen, exhausted and robotic persona.

His answers to questions by the media became shorter, and void of the witty one-liners he so often pulled off during the predraft hype. And the playful gait he so often walked with — which sometimes included a dance move or two — became more like a zombie as he almost mindlessly plodded from one interview to another public appearance to yet another photo shoot.

Speaking as one of the guilty parties (Oden was gone when I arrived in Vegas, but I’d already done a phoner) let me say that he was muted, but certainly not sullen, and typically polite (he called me “Sir” three times – but then, I’m old enough to be his father, if still younger than his GM and coach).

Anyway, as much as the Portland Mercury may chortle at their Pulitzer-winning and too-quick to shout “plagiarism” rival tapping into the same vein as a slick city mag, sometimes the obvious seven foot tall symbolic choice is still the right seven foot tall symbolic choice. Plus I hear Jerry Glanville and Blitzen Trapper wouldn’t do a photo shoot without their favorite stylist.

WW even has a bit of backstory:

In 2001, our “Best Of Portland” cover photo was also Blazer-related. It was a portrait of Katherine Topaz”WW’s former art director”who caused a minor frenzy after being physically removed from a Blazer playoff game when she refused to put down her homemade “Trade Whitsitt” sign. In that one stroke, Topaz captured the frustration of an entire city fed up with Blazer General Manager Bob Whitsitt and the paddy wagon that was then this city’s professional basketball team.

The paper also takes credit/blame for “Jail Blazers.” In which case, come on – name the editor or writer! Talk about a “Best of Portland!”

(On a not-really-related note: how do you write up Eddie Martinez and not mention Run-DMC?)

Casey Holdahl suggests that the two publications might have pow-wowed, but really only the Trail Blazers could have stopped the overlap – and why would they want to? It’s not exactly Amy Winehouse, Rolling Stone and SPIN.

Me, I’m just glad they came out the same week. Monthly production schedules being what they are, I could only watch as local stripper Viva Las Vegas, one of the subjects of my controversial (hee-hee) story about Mary’s Club, got featured in not one, not two but three different articles in between the time I filed and the time it hit the stands. (Ironically, the Merc, the paper Viva writes for, was the only non-daily rag she wasn’t pictured in, though of course they’d been there done that before everyone).

Ok, to bring this back to #52 – specifically, the subject of potential nicknames – I agree with those who say he doesn’t really need one. As does the Arch-Drude.