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Greg Oden sounds sensible, says to slow down comeback talk

Aug 15, 2012, 3:45 PM EDT

Greg Oden Getty Images

There have been plenty of leaks from people around Greg Oden talking about how he wants to get healthy and get back in the game. The kind of leaks that always sound like an agent or people around him looking for a paycheck.

Oden himself sounds far more reasonable.

Oden spoke about his attempt at a comeback from a third microfracture surgery (not to mention other surgeries) with the Tribune-Star in Indiana and struck a reasonable tone to my ears (hat tip to Ball Don’t Lie).

“I would love to play [in 2012-13], but I’m not going to rush anything,” he said Thursday. “I need to take a year off. What I told Mike (Conley, his agent) was ‘Look, I want to get back with a team. I want to play. If there’s a chance that later on in the [NBA] year, if I feel good or if I’m healthy enough to play, I would love to play this year.’ That’s the conversation we had. I think some people kinda blew that up and took his words and kinda changed them around. I know I need to get healthy first before I do anything…

“If it happens, it happens,” he said. “I’ve got to move on with my life. I know I want to play basketball. If I physically can’t play basketball, then I’ve got to move on … I’ve still got to wake up tomorrow. I’ve still got to live. One day, I’m going to want a family and I’ve got to provide for them. So if basketball doesn’t work out, you gotta keep it moving.”

Oden then goes on to say he’d love to be a middle school or high school gym teacher. Seriously.

I don’t know that Oden will ever step foot on an NBA court again. Most likely not, although I can’t blame him for not giving up on that dream. He shouldn’t. But it sounds like his head is in the right place no matter what happens. All you can do is wish the best for him, whatever life brings next.

  1. dls612 - Aug 15, 2012 at 3:54 PM

    This guy might wanna look into another profession!

  2. gmen4life33 - Aug 15, 2012 at 4:34 PM

    Yo Greg Oden, if you are reading this, keep your head up. True basketball fans know what kind on player you were and could have become, and that all the injuries werent your fault. Major blame goes to POR for how they handled the situation and didnt allow you to recover properly. You had amzaing talent and potential on the court, but that doesnt have to define who you are or who you become. If you can make it back to the NBA that’s great, and if you can’t, that is still great because you still have the opportunity to do something amazing with your life.

    Keep your head up, keep all your money in a simple bank account where you get interest (please dont listen to agents or “business men” about the next great thing or real estate property), and ignore the haters. You seem like a cool dude.

    • dls612 - Aug 15, 2012 at 4:48 PM

      in what way does my comment belittles him! Let me correct myself for the sensitive people. The guy is huges and he may never recover! God forbid! I honestly hope the best for him! He hasn’t played long enough for me to hate! Simply saying I hope he has a backup plan!

    • dls612 - Aug 15, 2012 at 4:56 PM

      And since your coming to the rescue do you know him personally? I must be a fan if I know he hasn’t been healthy long enough to put his talent on display!

      • gmen4life33 - Aug 15, 2012 at 5:14 PM

        No, but I have read some detailed articles about his life (on grantland if you want to look it up) and know what he has been through. Injuries, tragic deaths of best friends and family issues, drinking problem when he first got injured in NBA, POR betraying him and hiring his own doctor just so they can try to rush him back.

        Article also talked about how low-key and normal he is and was (when he was a huge star). How he never wanted to be treated special and how great of a friend and family member he is. Go read about him a little and you might not be so quick to make jokes about him.

      • dls612 - Aug 15, 2012 at 5:21 PM

        Again its a statement I’m making not a death wish!

  3. eventhorizon04 - Aug 15, 2012 at 5:17 PM

    Oden needs to go to a team where he won’t be asked to do too much, too soon.

    If he really wants to play sometime this year, he needs a team that’s looking for a guy who can do 5-10 minutes a game at a veteran’s minimum, just so he can get his bearings, continue his rehab, and gain confidence in his knees.

    2-3 years of patience could lead to a huge payoff for a team willing to make him the 15th man.

  4. haterhurter937 - Aug 15, 2012 at 5:20 PM

    Oden was and will always be one of the worst picks in NBA history.

    • londonaiooo - Aug 15, 2012 at 6:17 PM

      Read all the articles from analysts and journalists, they all say that everybody thought he was a sure thing and the large majority of teams would’ve made the same pick. Even Portland have said they’d pick him again in the same situation. A bad pick is Bowie over Jordan (even that is defensible), but a sure thing centre over a great shooting guard (when the Blazers already had pre injury Brandon Roy), is a great pick. This one just didn’t work out because of injury, which sucks, but doesn’t make it a bad pick.

    • Chris Fiorentino - Aug 16, 2012 at 12:28 PM

      You can remove “one of”. No matter what people say, there were questions about his legs(one being shorter than the other) and he had a history of injury problems throughout college.

      Nobody knew Durant would be THIS GOOD, but the fact is that there were some people saying Durant should have been the pick and that Odom was a risk.

  5. pudgalvin - Aug 15, 2012 at 5:20 PM

    And remember Greg, if basketball doesn’t work out, you’re still a rich man with a horse schlong. Could be worse.

    • saint1997 - Aug 16, 2012 at 4:08 AM


    • qwerty007qwerty007 - Aug 16, 2012 at 8:29 AM

      Imagine the drawings on the blackboard before class?

  6. patfic15 - Aug 15, 2012 at 5:25 PM

    Go to Phoenix, Greg.

  7. lakerluver - Aug 15, 2012 at 5:40 PM

    Man, I feel so bad for that kid!! I have no doubt that he would’ve been a franchise center had he not gotten injured. I watched him against a Florida team that featured an NBA frontline (Horford, Noah and Brewer) and he was very impressive. And he basically was playing with one arm because of a broken wrist. True, he’s made millions but it’s still sad that he hasn’t been able to stay healthy.

  8. cablelayer - Aug 15, 2012 at 6:38 PM

    Greg Oden is made of glass.

  9. glink123 - Aug 15, 2012 at 7:01 PM

    “One day, I’m going to want a family and I’ve got to provide for them”. Umm, Greg, you made $40 million in your NBA career. That should be enough to provide for 20 families. If you blew through $40 million in less than five years, good luck trying to raise a family on $40k a year, buddy.

  10. eugenesaxe - Aug 15, 2012 at 9:07 PM

    1-Hard to make a comeback when you really never had a career to start with.
    2-Harder to make a comeback when you yourself admit nobody has contacted you about playing this year. You talk about “taking it slow” like you have options.

  11. shockexchange - Aug 15, 2012 at 10:30 PM

    Will there be a comeback for the coaches and GMs he has gotten fired for investing in his non-career?

    • eugenesaxe - Aug 16, 2012 at 2:50 AM

      Wow, what an ignorant comment. Even for this board.

  12. lakerluver - Aug 16, 2012 at 12:02 AM

    What coaches and G.M.’s have been fired as a “direct” result of Oden not making it in the NBA? Uhhh, that would be none!! If they were fired it’s because they weren’t very good to begin with. Drafting Oden was such a “no-brainer”, even you could’ve made the pick for Portland. Remember, Durant was considered by many to be too frail and weak to make a difference in the NBA. I even heard a few “experts” come right out and say he would be a bust. Oden was the obvious pick.

  13. blc70 - Aug 16, 2012 at 1:48 AM

    As a Sonics fan I was pulling for Portland to take Durant so that we could get Oden.

    As a teamless fan who recently moved to the Portland area and is slowly warming to the idea of the Blazers being my home team I an still wishing that. Wishing Oden had wrecked the Sonics/Plunder franchise and that Durant was playing only a few miles down I-5 from me.

  14. hojo20 - Aug 16, 2012 at 8:40 AM

    “One day, I’m going to want a family and I’ve got to provide for them.”

    If Oden lives like a middle class person, he’s earned enough to be set for life.

  15. presidentialpeter - Aug 16, 2012 at 11:29 AM

    Oden needs to make a trip to Germany.

    If I he ever gets back to a team (which I hope he does) I figure Miami is the most logical destination, though I can see another team swooping in to get him. Cleveland, Houston, or Boston seem like teams that could use a healthy (if that’s possible) Greg Oden.

    • jimeejohnson - Aug 16, 2012 at 1:19 PM

      A woman might never be President without a presidentialpeter!

      • presidentialpeter - Aug 16, 2012 at 4:53 PM

        Interns think I’m hot.

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