Posted May 18, 2013

Greg Oden reportedly ‘looks unbelievable’ as he continues to attempt NBA comeback

Ben Golliver, Cleveland Cavaliers, Greg Oden, Miami Heat, Portland Trail Blazers
Greg Oden takes in a Cavaliers game from the stands. (David Liam Kyle/Getty Images)

Greg Oden takes in a Cavaliers game from the stands. (David Liam Kyle/Getty Images)

Nearly six years after he was the No. 1 pick in the 2007 NBA draft, unrestricted free agent center Greg Oden continues to attempt a comeback from a series of knee injuries that led to his release by the Blazers in 2012.

Ohio State forward Deshaun Thomas told The Oregonian at this week’s Chicago pre-draft combine that Oden is making progress in his return to the court.

“Man, he looks unbelievable,” Thomas said. “He’s running, he’s lifting weights. You might be seeing a comeback. He looks like he is ready to go. He’s running, getting in shape. I’ll tell you one thing: For a big 7-footer, that’s all he does — running and getting in shape. He’s looking right.”

It’s been a few months since we’ve heard from Oden, whose name popped up back in February, when he met with the Celtics and a report suggested the Cavaliers were preparing to make him a multi-year contract offer.

Oden has drawn interest this season from a number of teams, including the Spurs, Hornets, Bobcats, Pacers and Mavericks, according to ESPN.com. The Heat have been linked to interest in Oden for years and Oden’s agent, Mike Conley Sr., told Fox Sports Florida this season that there is mutual interest. The Associated Press reported recently that Oden said that his goal is to be ready for the start of the 2013-14 season.

Oden, 25, is currently rehabilitating from multiple knee surgeries in February 2012, including a second microfracture surgery on his left knee and arthroscopic surgery on his right knee. Prior to that round of surgeries, Oden also had left knee surgery in 2009 after fracturing his patella, microfracture surgery on his left knee in 2010 to address a “defect” that occurred during non-contact rehabilitation work, and a microfracture surgery on his right knee in 2007. Oden also reportedly underwent Orthokine injections on both knees back in May 2012.

This assessment from Thomas — while seemingly very good news — doesn’t indicate whether Oden has returned to basketball activities to any degree. Oden last stepped foot on an NBA court in December 2009 and he never reached the point during his multiple rehabilitations with the Blazers where he was cleared for five-on-five, full-contact play, as significant swelling and pain prevented him from advancing in his rehabilitation work. He also developed blood clots in his left ankle that were considered serious enough to delay his February 2012 surgery.

Given that it’s now been 1,260 days since he last played in the NBA, a contract signing — even a one-year minimum deal with a team that could oversee his rehabilitation — would be an incredible achievement. That doesn’t sound like much for a former No. 1 pick, but few players have traveled such a rocky road from an injury standpoint.

Oden holds career averages of 9.4 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game in 82 appearances.

31 comments
AmyCowell
AmyCowell

Oden is really a decent guy and a man of many talents.  He can play piano very well. He was popular here in Columbus for being a gracious, humble player.  I wish him well in whatever endeavors he pursues.

SukeMadiq
SukeMadiq

And Will Bynum looks unbelievable dancing too!

Rickapolis
Rickapolis

I'd like to see him have just one great year after all he's gone through. One healthy year, just so he'd get the chance to play.

JasonMacBride
JasonMacBride

He looked unbelievable in the sexting photos he posted a few years ago. 

PaulRentz
PaulRentz

Sam Bowie, Greg Oden and passing on Michael Jordan and Kevin Durant- yeah, the Blazers know how to pick 'em!

WilyCoyoteSuperGenius
WilyCoyoteSuperGenius

Only a fool would waste so much as ten dollars on Oden. And Oden is a fool if he continues to play and get hurt.

Charlie P
Charlie P

Greg Oden, our generation's Sam Bowie.

joeshine730
joeshine730

Maybe Oden can use his college degree?  Oops he don't have one. Good let Oden park cars.

akattack
akattack

Watching Oden struggle was tough for me. You knew he was trying his best, but his body just wasn't having any of it. I hope that he's healthy and that he can stick with a team and finally live up to his potential. It takes heart to keep standing back up after being knocked down so many times, especially with all of the criticism he's gotten for things that have been entirely beyond his control. I certainly wish him well.

Matthew10
Matthew10

Too bad Kahn isn't a GM somewhere right now -- he'd snap Oden up in a heartbeat. 

j7apple
j7apple

Oden last stepped foot on an NBA court in December 2009......Who in the world other than a team that likes to toss money down the drain would sign a fellow who will end up hurt before a season starts.

Let him play a year in the D League and see if he makes it through..I say no he wont.

mjhellund
mjhellund

I hope he gets back. Seems like a genuinely good guy.

mikalrod
mikalrod

I hope he makes it! The NBA can use a smile like that.

ptbnl
ptbnl

If he can come back from all these knee injuries, it would be unbelievable.  At least he is making the effort - compare with the other No.1 pick Jamarcus Russell who took the money and ran..


dt
dt

It IS unbelievable that he's running.  Because every time we see him he sits on the bench.  Good for you, Greg.  You're finally able to pla- woop! There goes another knee...

Dynamic Swami
Dynamic Swami

To Blazers defense; Every team, every GM, every scout, and most analyst (except these guys http://espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=nbamockdraft/070627) was picking Greg Oden as the no. 1 overall pick. Even draftexpress.com (http://www.draftexpress.com/nba-mock-draft/2007/) and nbadraft.net (http://nbadraft.net/mocks/2007_nba_mock_draft.html) picked Greg Oden going no. 1. The worst pick of the last decade has to be Hasheem Thabeet (#2), he beats out Darko Milicic (#2). Most worst pick are at the no.2 slot. Sam Bowie was #2. Tyrus Thomas (#2) was picked by the Blazers but traded his rights for LaMarcus Aldridge (#4) *they dodge the bullet there. but yeah, the Blazers know how to pick 'em. Though Charlotte is worse since they just can't even land a star player.

JonathanD
JonathanD

@WilyCoyoteSuperGenius You would grab a contract for hundreds of thousands of dollars in a heartbeat.

And a team like the Miami Heat, looking for a couple more competent bigs?  For sure.

Rickapolis
Rickapolis

@Charlie P Yup, that's always who I think of. So much potential talent that never got a real chance. 

doghockey
doghockey

@joeshine730 What year is this?  Your love of college degrees comes from another era.  Ask the untold thousands who bought the con & now are reduced to no job, low end jobs, and sitting in the mud protesting their lot in life.   Universities have become diploma and debt mills.

RickyTippie
RickyTippie

@joeshine730 From your use of the English language it appears that you too do not have a college degree.

JMAY
JMAY

@joeshine730 I don't think he will be parking cars with the more than $30M he got in guaranteed money!! How many of us can say me made $30M WITH A college degree? Stop hating on the man for choicing the best past available to him.

Marcus1
Marcus1

@j7apple If you sign him for the minimum for 1 year with a team option for the second, in the best case you get a player who can contribute cheap for two years and in the worst case no one expects the 13th man on the roster to contribute any way.

Rickapolis
Rickapolis

@RickyTippie Isn't it amazing how quick the ignorant are to criticize, often showing their own shortcomings in the process? 

SportinLife
SportinLife

@Rickapolis @RickyTippie Need I remind ya'll that this discourse is about basketball; specifically, Oden's preparedness  (Or lack thereof) to return to the NBA