Posted October 23, 2013

Video: Heat’s Greg Oden gets first NBA game action in 1,418 days

Ben Golliver, Greg Oden, Miami Heat, Portland Trail Blazers

Heat center Greg Oden played a preseason game against the Pelicans on Wednesday, marking his first NBA game action since Dec. 5, 2009, a span of 1,418 days.

The oft-injured big man threw down a dunk on his first touch, and finished with two points, two rebounds and two turnovers in four minutes.

With 5:15 remaining in the second quarter and the Pelicans leading 51-45, Oden, wearing his new No. 20, checked into a game for the first time as the member of the Heat.

The 25-year-old seven-footer was the No. 1 pick in the 2007 NBA draft out of Ohio State, selected one spot ahead of Thunder All-Star forward Kevin Durant. He appeared in 82 games for the Blazers over five years before he was released in 2012 due to a series of knee injuries. On Miami’s first possession, Mario Chalmers passed the ball to Chris Bosh at the elbow, as Oden worked his way down into low post position. Bosh dumped a pass into Oden, who took one dribble to set himself and then rose for a two-handed slam. He patted the backboard in celebration before heading back to play defense.

WATCH: Greg Oden reacts to his Miami Heat debut

Oden signed a one-year, veteran’s minimum contract with the Heat in August. He holds career averages of 9.4 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game.

After being released by the Blazers in March 2012, Oden has been rehabilitating from multiple knee surgeries, including a second microfracture surgery on his left knee in February 2012 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 and admitted to problems with alcohol during his time with the Blazers.

He told reporters in August that he had “some dark times” in Portland but that he was looking forward to a new chapter in Miami.

“After three years of being out, I’m just going to go out and do what I can,” Oden said, according to the Associated Press. “If somehow (my body) says no, then it says no. But for me, I’m not even worried about that. Just go play and not even think about that. I’ve signed on the dotted line, put it like that. I’ve got a contract. As y’all can see this smile, I’ve got a contract. I’m excited.”

Oden has participated in portions of Miami’s training camp but reportedly had faced “setbacks” with his progress. The Heat did not announce before the game that Oden would get his first run of the exhibition season.

Miami will complete its preseason schedule against Brooklyn on Friday. The Heat will then host the Bulls on Oct. 29 to open their regular season.

23 comments
TherealdanMcKelvey
TherealdanMcKelvey

He should be able to dunk without jumping....Lloyds of London hates him.

andy10
andy10

This guy has been through enough...gotta pull for him.

Plainview
Plainview

an incredible story.  Hope he makes it back. 

TH20
TH20

This triggered an incentive clause and earned him another million dollars. He gets another million when he can put his pants on by himself.

EriKKDavis
EriKKDavis

good for Greg man he deserved that moment. also I hope he does well in the season

WHO*IS*ESPN
WHO*IS*ESPN

wow. 7' guy who dunked. and the homies celebrate. But why can't they turn up the heat in that arena. he keeps blowing in his hands as if he's cold

RichLGerhold
RichLGerhold

I wonder how much of James affection for Ohio State played into getting Oden into a Heat jersey.

bambam824
bambam824

2 points, 2 boards, 1 turnover, 1 foul, spoelstra doesn't want to rush oden back...since 2009? Lebron can't wait to "toast" this over drinks.

graddimere
graddimere

As A 42 Year Old Blazer Fan, Yea, I'm bitter About Us Picking Greg Instead Of Kevin. But Quit Bashing On The Guy. Good Luck Greg, Some Portland Fans Still Know Your A Good Guy That Deserves A Chance.

PatrickBatemanVP
PatrickBatemanVP

Greg is a high character kid that has great potential, especially on the defensive end. It's a shame that his body will not allow him to reach that potential.

ROLL TIDE1
ROLL TIDE1

that was awesome....glad he's got a great team supporting him.....and one last chance.  Greg's a good dude...with some bad luck....everyone should pull for this guy.  

Chris8
Chris8

Greg Oden dunks; both knees promptly explode upon landing.

ShawnKemp2012
ShawnKemp2012

I can easily see Greg Oden having a break out all-star season.  At the very least, he should give the heat a solid 35-38 minutes a game.  I'd be surprised if he weren't top 5 in blocked shots, rebounds and fg%.  Now,  I think I'll go ride my leprechaun into the center of the moon and get drunk off rainbows with a robot programmed to  snort coke.

Mark V.1
Mark V.1

Well, he is SEVEN FEET TALL!

WilyCoyoteSuperGenius
WilyCoyoteSuperGenius

Not a chance in hell he makes it to Thanksgiving. Can't blame the Heat for tossing away a few bucks on a shot at a miracle. No one has ever disputed he can be an effective player - on those rare occasions when he is not hurt.

Edward17
Edward17

Hey, Oden really looked like a factor in those 4 minutes.  Shot blocks, shot altering, rebounds... just taking up space.  He moved very well.  He had a case of fumble fingers as everyone was trying to force feed him the ball, but he looked good.

leo5
leo5

@TH20 why people always focus on money when they are not the ones writing the check always baffles me.

hate your parents for not having tall genes. Don't hate a guy who people willingly throw millions at. He did not put any gun to the owners heads to get them to pay him. 


RichLGerhold
RichLGerhold

@PatrickBatemanVP I sat next to him in Math class his freshman year, he was actually a pretty nice guy despite his athletic stature. 


and yes we sat in the far back row lol.