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Greg Oden: "Is there any proof that I'm a bust?"

Sep 28, 2010, 2:51 PM EDT

Thumbnail image for goden_injury.jpgThis much is clear: Greg Oden has yet to work out like the Portland Trail Blazers had hoped. Three years into his NBA career he has played 82 games and had multiple injuries and surgeries to his knees.

But is he a bust?

Oden himself took exception to that characterization while speaking with Jason Quick of the Oregonian.

“Is there any proof that I’m a bust?” Oden said. “All there is proof of is that I have bad luck with injuries. When I was out there on the floor, I think I did pretty good for myself. I’ve never really had enough time to play and actually improve. I think last year at the beginning of the year I did OK, started to head down that path. Unfortunately I had an injury. But I’ve prepared myself all summer to be an All Star and be as healthy as I can be and I’m going to keep doing that until I’m able to do that …”

From our seat, bust isn’t the right word. We’ve been hard on him here, but still that’s a big label to put out there.

It’s too early. And bust implies a lack of effort or talent — that has not been Oden’s problem. The man has stopped drinking to help better prepare himself physically. But it is that body has betrayed him. Right now he wants to get back on the court but the doctors — and the Trail Blazers — are holding him off the court until he is 100 percent ready physically. Whenever that may be.

Oden is correct — when he has been on the floor he has been good. He had a PER of 23.1 in the 21 games before he went down last season. That’s Dirk Nowitzki/Pau Gasol level PER. He was impacting games, the Blazers were about 5 points per 100 possessions better when he was on the floor.

And he may yet overcome all the injuries, he could bounce back. For that reason the word “bust” does not fit.

It’s hard, because he comes up in comparison to the No. 2 pick in 2007, Kevin Durant. The league scoring leader. The guy who just lead the USA to gold at the World Championships. They guy being mentioned along with Kobe and LeBron as the best in the game.

Oden is not that. He very well may never be that. But it’s too early to rule him a bust yet.

  1. billy hungrecker - Sep 28, 2010 at 3:16 PM

    You are A bust Greg, If I were the owner you get nothing! Prove that you are not A bust by giving all you money back and your assets that you have recieved and start from scratch! No you wont do that wilol you? I played in Europe and the US professionally and if you did not win that night you don’t get paid,try that you overpaid primadonnas!
    Billy H.

  2. Shock Exchange - Sep 28, 2010 at 3:22 PM

    Oden is the proverbial “Big Hat … No Cattle” >> http://clicky.me/Shockims

  3. Shock Exchange - Sep 28, 2010 at 3:25 PM

    Oden is the proverbial “Big Hat .. No Cattle” >> http://clicky.me/Shockims

  4. Shock Exchange - Sep 28, 2010 at 3:27 PM

    Oden is the proverbial “Big Hat .. No Cattle” >> http://clicky.me/Shockims

  5. Bob - Sep 28, 2010 at 3:28 PM

    “Is there any proof that I’m a bust?”
    Yes. It’s called Kevin Durant.

  6. Bob - Sep 28, 2010 at 3:29 PM

    “Is there any proof that I’m a bust?”
    Yes. It’s called Kevin Durant.

  7. ie1950 - Sep 28, 2010 at 4:20 PM

    I didn’t think Portland could draft so bad a 2nd time….After 1984 with Sam Bowie and not Michael Jordan they didn’t hear the end of that for years….Now here we go again with Greg Oden and not Kevin Durant…Whoever is in charge of drafting for that team they should be castrated…How on earth can you pick Oden over Durant based on their college career’s….Durant was a STUD at Texas and Oden had 1 ok year at Ohio State (and was still injured with a thumb)….I always thought Oden looked about 20-30 years older than what they had him listed at…..Portland got exactly what they should’ve got….Not picking Durant was as big a travesty as Not picking Jordan…At least the Sixers didn’t screw up the 2nd pick again like the last time with Shawn Bradley….Evan Turner looks like the real deal….

  8. ie1950 - Sep 28, 2010 at 4:21 PM

    I didn’t think Portland could draft so bad a 2nd time….After 1984 with Sam Bowie and not Michael Jordan they didn’t hear the end of that for years….Now here we go again with Greg Oden and not Kevin Durant…Whoever is in charge of drafting for that team they should be castrated…How on earth can you pick Oden over Durant based on their college career’s….Durant was a STUD at Texas and Oden had 1 ok year at Ohio State (and was still injured with a thumb)….I always thought Oden looked about 20-30 years older than what they had him listed at…..Portland got exactly what they should’ve got….Not picking Durant was as big a travesty as Not picking Jordan…At least the Sixers didn’t screw up the 2nd pick again like the last time with Shawn Bradley….Evan Turner looks like the real deal….

  9. ie1950 - Sep 28, 2010 at 4:23 PM

    I didn’t think Portland could draft so bad a 2nd time….After 1984 with Sam Bowie and not Michael Jordan they didn’t hear the end of that for years….Now here we go again with Greg Oden and not Kevin Durant…Whoever is in charge of drafting for that team they should be castrated…How on earth can you pick Oden over Durant based on their college career’s….Durant was a STUD at Texas and Oden had 1 ok year at Ohio State (and was still injured with a thumb)….I always thought Oden looked about 20-30 years older than what they had him listed at…..Portland got exactly what they should’ve got….Not picking Durant was as big a travesty as Not picking Jordan…At least the Sixers didn’t screw up the 2nd pick again like the last time with Shawn Bradley….Evan Turner looks like the real deal….

  10. Brad - Sep 28, 2010 at 6:01 PM

    How about your 9 fouls per 48 minutes stat? You haven’t learned any defense in the 4 games you’ve played in 3 years.

  11. don - Sep 28, 2010 at 8:14 PM

    I hope the haters never have to face ANY adversity. Oden IS NOT a bust. WE love him here in Portland because when he plays, he is a huge difference maker. I realize he’s been hurt – and the NBA can say what they want, but Portland loves the big man. Do now and always will.

  12. Mark - Sep 28, 2010 at 8:59 PM

    Portland loves Oden? Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeease. I live in the Portland area. Remember the naked picture shot on the internet? How much money has he receieved for doing NOTHING.
    Don’t believe it folks. Portland does not like having such a BUST on the only major sports team in town. We like (don’t love) the blazers. We certainly don’t like Greg Oden.

  13. TigerGuy - Sep 28, 2010 at 9:37 PM

    The ★BIG FRA – GILE★ man child NOT ready and NO time table on returning?
    Ship this BUST to the WNBA with “FRAGILE, HANDLE WITH CARE” sticker attached to his ass…lol
    “Oden will not be ready for full contact when training camp opens Tuesday.” Imagine that. Just like I said. Where are all you pom pom waving Oden cheerleaders now? How does that crow taste? he said, “There’s been good days, and there’s been bad days.” Most likely 90% bad. the good days are when he doesn’t even get out of bed. “That’s a hard question because I don’t know when I’m going to be back,” he said. Hopefully never. Oden has until Oct. 31 to sign an extension or he would become a restricted free agent at the end of the season. Asked the status of that negotiation, he deflected the answer. The best thing for the Blazers would be to just let Oden go. There probably isn’t much trade value for a guy that is physically and mentally incapable of playing in the NBA. The only hope is that another team has management as dumb as the Blazers and that the Blazers can trade him off. But realistically, this guy is done. There are too many other healthy players out there to keep waiting for someone that is never going to show up. The fat lady is singing “Stick a fork in it!” The BIG FRA-GILE is DONE!!!

  14. CaveMan - Sep 28, 2010 at 9:49 PM

    Greg Oden: “Is there any proof that I’m a bust?”
    YES! The ★BIG FRA – GILE★ man child NOT ready and NO time table on returning?
    Ship this BUST to the WNBA with “FRAGILE, HANDLE WITH CARE” sticker attached to his ass…lol
    “Oden will not be ready for full contact when training camp opens Tuesday.” Imagine that. Just like I said. Where are all you pom pom waving Oden cheerleaders now? How does that crow taste? he said, “There’s been good days, and there’s been bad days.” Most likely 90% bad. the good days are when he doesn’t even get out of bed. “That’s a hard question because I don’t know when I’m going to be back,” he said. Hopefully never. Oden has until Oct. 31 to sign an extension or he would become a restricted free agent at the end of the season. Asked the status of that negotiation, he deflected the answer. The best thing for the Blazers would be to just let Oden go. There probably isn’t much trade value for a guy that is physically and mentally incapable of playing in the NBA. The only hope is that another team has management as dumb as the Blazers and that the Blazers can trade him off. But realistically, this guy is done. There are too many other healthy players out there to keep waiting for someone that is never going to show up. The fat lady is singing “Stick a fork in it!” The BIG FRA-GILE is DONE!!!

  15. jojj mbush - Sep 28, 2010 at 10:32 PM

    Oden is a bust, I dont see how he went ahead of Durant.
    There is something fragile about these very large guys look at Yao..

  16. SFA51 - Sep 28, 2010 at 10:52 PM

    Even at his best, Greg Oden isn’t a “human highlight reel”. But Oden is a hell of a basketball player when healthy. He’ll be just fine once he gets these injuries behind him. Hang in there blazer fans,

  17. George - Sep 29, 2010 at 12:43 AM

    Ship him to the Cavs so he can play in Ohio. I’m sure they’d take him. Portland doesn’t need him the Cavs do.

  18. Lee - Sep 29, 2010 at 1:22 AM

    Bitter, Billy?

  19. Heywood Jablome - Sep 29, 2010 at 7:57 AM

    What’s with all the multiple posts? It’s hard to take what you morons say seriously when you can’t even post right!

  20. Paul in KY - Sep 29, 2010 at 11:00 AM

    I don’t think he’s a bust yet. But you can be a bust due to factors beyond your control, such as injuries.
    He needs to get out there, play 82 games, and average 12 or 13 rebounds a game & be a defensive intimidator.

  21. McDaddy - Sep 29, 2010 at 1:17 PM

    I hope he can stay healthy. The Blazers would be a much better
    team and give the Lakers a run for their money if he can stay injury free. That is a big IF however. The Blazers may be the
    only team in the West that can possibly compete with L.A.
    Someone needs to. The annoying Laker fans are just so sure they
    will three-peat this season. BEAT L.A.! BEAT L.A.!

  22. OS - Sep 29, 2010 at 2:31 PM

    This discussion is getting sooooooo old. What no one cares to remember is that 28 out of 30 GMs would’ve taken Oden, because big men with his game don’t come around that often, and gunners like Durant do (which was the scouting reptort on Durant at the time). Heck, Seattle probably would have taken Oden if they had had the first pick. Do you think Durant would have developed this quickly had he been playing second fiddle to Brandon Roy? Nah, didn’t think so.
    Quick question, is Blake Griffin a bust? He was a number one one pick and hasn’t played a single game in the NBA. I think you have to give Greg a few more years before labelling hime a bust. He’s only 22 for crissakes. Remember, Kwame Brown and Michael Olowokandi were #1’s as well. Oden is already light years better than those guys.
    And those who are saying he should give back the money or that he is overpaid don’t know how the rookie scale works in the NBA. He was the first pick and that’s the contract he signed. He has trained and played with the team, and when he’s been injured, he’s worked extremely hard at rehabbing and getting back into shape. That’s what he does to earn his money. Billy Hungreker, it obviously pains you that you never made it past the bush leagues. And the misinformed person who says that people in Portland don’t like Oden, please read any decent b-ball blog and you will see that people LOVE Greg and wish him only the best and cant wait to see him back on the court.
    Go Blazers!

  23. McDaddy - Sep 29, 2010 at 3:46 PM

    Good post. I hope Oden doesn’t remain injury prone the next several
    years. I would be surprised if he is not. Some players just seem
    to get injured year after year. McGrady, Ming, and Bynum come to
    mind. Good luck to Oden and Portland this year. You guys are
    looking really good this year regardless if he is healthy or not.
    If he is and plays to his potential – the Blazers are contenders.

  24. Ak. Bridge - Sep 29, 2010 at 5:52 PM

    It’s far from over for the young man, look at Ralph Sampson, Sam Bowie and others, especially Walton, he got Rings to prove that it is not over until the they want it to be over, and if he is putting in the effort to get better, then obviously he is not throught.

  25. Trade him to Lakers - Oct 1, 2010 at 4:50 PM

    I’ll trade you Bynum for Oden any day. Oden at least plays with a heart.

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