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Another report Oden hasn’t given up NBA dream; Heat interested

Jan 10, 2013, 1:14 PM EDT

greg_oden Getty Images

Reports of Greg Oden’s comeback always seem to come from the people around him. The man himself seems to have a healthier perspective.

Fitting that pattern comes the latest report of a potential Oden comeback, this one from Oden’s former college teammate Mike Conley (now the Grizzlies point guard). He spoke with Ric Bucher of, on Sulia.

I’m told by Mike Conley, his college teammate at Ohio State, that Greg is back in Columbus, taking classes and trying to get into playing shape and that he hopes to be available to hit the free-agent market and join a team before the end of this season. If he can’t get his body right by then or there isn’t sufficient interest, he intends to take another shot at it next fall. The takeaway: Oden hasn’t given up on resuming his — or, perhaps more accurately, having a — NBA career.

And there are teams interested, reports ESPN. That would include the Miami Heat.

Sources told that multiple teams have already expressed interest in signing Oden to a multi-year deal before the end of this season that would allow him to continue his rehab until he can get back on the court in training camp next fall.

The Miami Heat are at the front of the line in pursuing Oden, two sources said, and have been keeping tabs as he recovers while also taking classes at Ohio State.

Multi-year? Really? With team options, maybe. Maybe.

Oden said last August he is working out trying to recover from a third microfracture surgery. He said he wouldn’t give up on the dream of a return to the NBA completely yet. But he also sounded like a guy who has made peace with his situation.

“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, the former No. 1 overall pick of the Blazers, hasn’t set foot on an NBA court since 2009 and before that played 82 games in four seasons in Portland. He has had multiple knee procedures.

Honestly, I’m rooting for it to happen, I hate to see good players betrayed by their bodies. But I wouldn’t bet a penny on it happening.

  1. supremekingz - Jan 10, 2013 at 1:43 PM

    Everybody loves a comeback! Hope to see him out there again. I still wonder hey would’ve happened had the Blazers took Durnat and Seattle got Oden

    Would the Blazers curse have hit Durant?

    • fanofevilempire - Jan 10, 2013 at 4:43 PM

      maybe Duran-chala was the curse in Seattle……………

      • loungefly74 - Jan 11, 2013 at 8:25 AM

        oooohhh…snap! great point, man. funny how people forget that. one can diss and slam a team for a losing season, etc…(a la 2013 Lakers)…but to have the franchise leave? thats the friggin’ Angel of Death blow. It’s the worst. an apocalyptic event for that city. game over, man. game over!

        loved Oden. watched him a lot at OSU (yes…my roots are Cali…but migrated)…and being a fellow buckeye, i can only root and wish him the best. Oden not playing to his potential is part of the reason for the lack of true centers in the game (causing a paradigm shift of style (going small)).

  2. GT - Jan 10, 2013 at 1:48 PM

    Hasn’t he made enough off his previous contracts to not be worried about providing for his future family? I sure hope he’s learned from the TOs and Iversons of the world.

    • dondada10 - Jan 10, 2013 at 7:14 PM

      Where in the article did it mention Oden was in need of money? There is such a thing as the love of the game.

      • GT - Jan 11, 2013 at 11:21 AM

        Oden is quoted as saying:

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

        Learn to read before making such comments….

      • dondada10 - Jan 11, 2013 at 11:35 AM

        First off all, that’s not from the article.

        Secondly, how is saying “I’ve got to provide [for my family]” an admission of being an “Iverson” of the world?

        For all we know, the ellipses you used is in place of, “I’ve been saving every penny I’ve earned because one day, I’m going to want a family and I’ve got to provide for them.

      • dondada10 - Jan 11, 2013 at 11:37 AM

        Opps, my bad GT. That quote is from the article.

      • chitownmatt - Jan 11, 2013 at 1:37 PM

        Lighten up Dondada,
        I think he was just trying to make the point that 4 or 5 million dollars (whatever he made) in your early 20’s SHOULD be enough to last any normal person their lifetime.

  3. kvvvv2391 - Jan 10, 2013 at 1:52 PM

    I read the headline “Odom hasn’t given up on NBA…” And I’m thinking yes he has; Lamaar gave up on the NBA 2 or 3 years ago and has since been going through the motions and stealing pay checks from a few different organizations…

    • fanofevilempire - Jan 10, 2013 at 4:46 PM

      too bad this article is about Oden not Odom…………………..
      did you look at the picture and figure all black players look alike?
      or maybe your joke just sucked!

  4. telergy - Jan 10, 2013 at 1:56 PM

    Why anyone would waste a single dollar on Oden at this point is insanity. This guy IS DONE.

    • sasquash20 - Jan 10, 2013 at 7:39 PM

      Yeah a 7 foot 280 plus pound defensive specialist who can use both hands, why would anyone want to try and get that. Low risk super high reward. I don’t see it happening but if someone will give Kwame Brown a 2 year deal then why not kick the tires on G.Oden. I hope the kid makes it back. Any team that doesn’t have a center should be interested.

  5. nagidac - Jan 10, 2013 at 2:04 PM

    Would love to see him back in the league at some point, he deserves it.

    • fanofevilempire - Jan 10, 2013 at 4:47 PM

      yeah, Oden never did anything stupid like get locked up, Odom never got locked up either.

      • chitownmatt - Jan 11, 2013 at 1:43 PM

        Or crash his motorcycle…

        Or OD on blow.

  6. zacksdad - Jan 10, 2013 at 2:06 PM

    The Lakers coach Mike would love to get another slower player. He fits perfectly with his run and gun offense. Go get him Jim Buss.

  7. cantonbound13 - Jan 10, 2013 at 2:19 PM

    You’ll always have a job if you’re 7ft tall.

    • misterchainbluelightning - Jan 10, 2013 at 2:21 PM

      It’s basketballs equivalent to being left-handed in baseball. How can anyone not wish the guy luck?

  8. abchome - Jan 10, 2013 at 2:23 PM

    There aren’t many better jobs than being NBA player, well paid and (mostly) guaranteed. If he’s wise he should do everything in his power to join Phoenix, who has been making miracle after miracle.

    • scooper15928 - Jan 10, 2013 at 8:14 PM

      Yes, if there’s one thing going for the Suns, it’s our medical staff. Both Nash and Hill left and now they’ve suffered through injuries all this season. Shaquille O’Neal had another great All-Star year near the end of his career with Phoenix. Michael Redd joined the Suns last season and put up 8 points in 15 minutes a game, which was much better than either of his previous two seasons with the Bucks. I also think you could argue that both Stoudemire was so much better on the Suns, not only because he was younger or because he had Nash, but also because of the medical staff there, even if he did hit a few bumps in the road throughout his tenure in Phoenix.

  9. mungman69 - Jan 10, 2013 at 2:25 PM

    Left-handed in baseball? You can always play first base.

  10. progress2011 - Jan 10, 2013 at 2:35 PM


    The Heat are getting SMASHED on the boards. Their attempt at “Position-less” ball is harder than they expected…OBVIOUSLY !

    Considering Oden shows true desperation !

    I propose breaking up the “Big 3” by trading Bosh ! He is too soft and plays more like a shooting guard than a Power Forward/ Center.

    The Heat should pursue Joakim Noah, Pau Gasol or his brother or another guy that can defend the paint.

    Oden DEFINITELY is not the answer.

    • borderline1988 - Jan 10, 2013 at 4:49 PM

      That’s an idea, but remember that Wade and Lebron need open lanes to the basket to be effective, b/c they aren’t much better than average jump shooters. Bosh opens things up; a guy like Noah closes everything down. I’m not sure that is worth the extra 3 rpg and the defense, considering the Heat already are one of the best defensive teams in the league.

      And the Bosh for Gasol trade makes no sense. Bosh gives you everything Gasol does, except he’s younger, quicker, and not washed up. Gasol is not a better rebounder or defender than Bosh, he’s just a better passer and has a better back to the basket game. Bosh is a better shooter, is better at facing up opponents, and is a better option in the pick and roll game.

    • kinggw - Jan 10, 2013 at 6:22 PM

      Haven’t you people learned about doubting the Heat based on what happens in January?

  11. BigBeachBall - Jan 10, 2013 at 3:04 PM

    What if he gets picked up by Miami and wins a title while only play 10 minutes a game… that would be hilarious.

    • cantonbound13 - Jan 10, 2013 at 4:39 PM

      Why wouldn’t the Heat sign him? They wasted money on Eddie Curry & Juwan Howard.

  12. flyrocket31 - Jan 10, 2013 at 3:15 PM

    someone messed up his birth certificate. He’s actually older then Juwan Howard.

  13. longtallsam - Jan 10, 2013 at 3:28 PM

    It will be hard to come back with that 45 year old body.

  14. jason9696 - Jan 10, 2013 at 4:11 PM

    He’s done. Stick a fork in him.

  15. mogogo1 - Jan 10, 2013 at 4:16 PM

    Easy to see a team like the Heat taking a shot on him in a limited role, but until he proves differently teams will translate “long term” in his case to mean “I hope he makes it to the end of the week.”

  16. rj2323 - Jan 10, 2013 at 4:19 PM

    I’m really hopping for the best for this guy I mean when he played an was healthy he was productive hopefully he gets back to that form

    • sasquash20 - Jan 10, 2013 at 7:48 PM

      He was going to be a defensive force. Should have been a 15 points a game, 15 rebounds a game, 3-4 blocks a game kind of anchor in the middle. And with the league having no great centers since Shaq he could have been dominating.

  17. dko83 - Jan 10, 2013 at 4:45 PM

    They’re so desperate for anyone willing to grab a rebound..

  18. gator2006 - Jan 10, 2013 at 4:52 PM

    He should get on the juice/HGH now while he is not subject to testing.

  19. eugenesaxe - Jan 10, 2013 at 5:52 PM

    Hard to have a comeback when you were never really around the first time.

  20. davidcl77 - Jan 10, 2013 at 6:03 PM

    He can put another weinker pic on the Internet.

  21. nycalldayz - Jan 10, 2013 at 7:30 PM

    The market for a big must be BAD!

  22. sasquash20 - Jan 10, 2013 at 7:45 PM

    I remember debating him or Durant with one of my buddies back when they were drafted. My buddy kept telling me Oden wouldn’t last 3 years with his body. He kept saying one leg is 1 inch bigger then the other. For us that isn’t a big deal but for a 280-300 pound man who jumps up and down all day long it will be a big deal. Well he was right and I would have wasted the pick.

  23. omniusprime - Jan 11, 2013 at 9:15 AM

    When will that moron Greg Oden understand that he will never have an NBA career, he had what he’s ever going to have. He needs to understand his knees are totally trashed and they’ll never recover enough to play NBA basketball. I do hope the Heatstroke take a chance on him, that will be one roster spot totally wasted and may help make the Heatstroke lose their championship delusions.

    • chitownmatt - Jan 11, 2013 at 1:50 PM

      Dude, enough with the negative waves already.

      Who ruined your dreams?

  24. gostlcards5 - Jan 11, 2013 at 2:01 PM

    This guy has made some mistakes (NOT big, serious mistakes, however), has owned up to them, and tried to move on. Everything that I have read about him seems to portray him as centered, mature, etc. (now). I hope he gets a shot and can at least salvage a decent career.

  25. BigBeachBall - Jan 14, 2013 at 9:50 PM


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