Aug 12, 2013, 12:15 AM EDT
The low-pressure angle from the Heat continues where Greg Oden is concerned, with the latest comments on the lack of expectations for the recently-signed free agent big man coming from LeBron James himself.
Speaking at a charity event in Akron, Ohio, James toed the company line of extreme cautious optimism when delivering his thoughts on the team’s latest acquisition.
“Adding Greg is a huge piece for us but we’re not asking too much from him, we’re not going to put too much pressure on him,” James said. “He hasn’t played since 2009, so it’s been awhile. We just want him to work his way back into condition. Whatever he gives us is extra.”
You can’t set the bar much lower than that.
Oden hasn’t played a single NBA minute since December of 2009, so the tempered level of excitement is somewhat understandable. But at some point, shouldn’t there be some expectation of production, considering the more than two million guaranteed dollars the Heat will be paying Oden over the next two seasons?
In addition to the physical problems that have plagued Oden since his NBA career began, he suffered some emotional ones, as well. The team needs to take this approach to a certain extent, but at the same time, they have to let him know along the way that he’s there for a reason, and that he is in fact needed to be a physical presence for the Heat, if only during the postseason.