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Greg Oden plays first NBA minutes in almost 4 years, dunks the first time he gets the ball (VIDEO)

Oct 23, 2013, 10:30 PM EDT

Greg Oden hasn’t played NBA minutes since December 5, 2009 — a span of 1,418 days.

(That figure is via Ben Golliver at SI.com, who personally lived through the Oden nightmare in Portland, so we’ll take his word for it.)

Oden was picked up by the Miami Heat this summer, on a one-year minimum deal in the off chance he may be able to help the team against the likes of Roy Hibbert and the Indiana Pacers several months from now.

It’s early, and Oden isn’t going to be pressed into any premature game situations. But as a reward for his hard work during training camp, Oden was given some real minutes in preseason action against New Orleans on Wednesday — and he delivered immediately, the first time he touched the ball just seconds into his stint.

It would be beyond foolish to try to count on Oden’s health at this extremely early stage, but it’s obvious that if he is somehow 100 percent healthy once the postseason begins, you can go ahead and pencil Miami in for their fourth straight trip to the Finals.

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