Aug 2, 2010, 11:45 AM EDT
We’re three full seasons into Greg Oden’s NBA career, and he’s played just 82 games. It’s not fair. Not to the Blazers, who invested the No. 1 overall pick in the 2007 draft in Oden, not to the Blazer faithful, and certainly not to Oden himself. Every nightmare must come to an end, but Oden’s is certainly taking its sweet time to run its course.
However, as is the case with much of the off-season, there is reason to hope. From Brian T. Smith of The Columbian:
Oden said he is “positive” he will be ready for training camp for the
2010-11 season. The Blazers center has recently been working out with
Portland strength and conditioning coach Bobby Medina in Indiana. Oden
said he has lost considerable weight while going through daily
five-hour drills. He plans to lose more weight, but would not reveal
his ideal total.
Oden’s presence means a world of difference for Portland, both in terms of their on-court performance and their off-court focus. He’s already an excellent rebounder and a quality defender, but when injured, his impact on the team goes far beyond his basketball abilities. When Oden goes down (and more importantly, when Oden goes out), there is a certain mental toll taken on the team and the franchise as a whole.
Here’s to a season where that isn’t the case. Here’s to the possibility of Oden finally showing the world just how good he is when he can stay on the floor (while avoiding both fouls and excessive injuries). Here’s to the first fully healthy and productive season of Oden’s career, and all that it will mean for him and his team.
- Adam Silver: NBA stars playing in international competition face ‘a big risk’ 12
- Derrick Rose says he’ll play Friday vs. Puerto Rico 11
- Report: Don’t be so sure on Anthony Bennett to Philadelphia rumors 54
- Report: Nike gets chance to match 10-year, $265 million offer to Kevin Durant from Under Armour 17
- Should NBA coaches get NFL style challenge flags? 18
- Report: Suns discussing trade possibilities for Eric Bledsoe 34
- Report: Sixers may look to trade for Amar’e Stoudemire at this season’s deadline 32
- Kevin Durant reiterates that rest was his reason for withdrawing from Team USA 11