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Greg Oden: ‘I’m one of the biggest busts in NBA history and I know that it’ll only get worse’

May 9, 2014, 1:45 PM EDT

2007 ESPY Awards - Press Room Getty Images

Kevin Durant just won NBA MVP. His contract pays him nearly $90 million, and his next deal will surely be even larger. He’s leading one of the league’s best teams deep into the playoffs.

As for the player drafted just before him? You know how that turned out.

Former No. 1 pick Greg Oden spoke with Mark Titus of Grantland:

I asked him straight-up: “If this is the final chapter of the Greg Oden story — if you’re destined to be a benchwarmer for the rest of your career — are you OK with that? Will you be satisfied with your legacy?”“I’m over all of that,” Greg told me. “I know I’m one of the biggest busts in NBA history and I know that it’ll only get worse as Kevin Durant continues doing big things … It’s frustrating that my body can’t do what my mind wants it to do sometimes. But worrying or complaining about it isn’t going to fix anything … I wish the circumstances would let me play more, but I certainly don’t regret coming back, and I don’t regret signing with the Heat.”

I know there’s a positive “he’s accepted his place in the world” spin that could be put on this, but I can’t see anything other than sadness. This is just really sad.

And the worst part is Oden is right. He is one of the biggest busts ever. It’s not his fault –  injuries robbed him of what could have been a bright career – but he’ll still hold that bust label forever.

Playing with the Heat now might soften the pain a bit. I hope it does, because Oden needs that. The gap between his and Durant’s achievements will only grow larger.

  1. m4a188 - May 9, 2014 at 11:48 PM

    That’s what HGH does to you.

    • trevor123698 - May 10, 2014 at 1:18 AM

      you are incredibly dumb. thats what calcium and other major mineral deficiency does. he could easily come back and be an all star. let him talk to theo ratliff about youngevity and he might do it. theo did

  2. pacers24 - May 10, 2014 at 6:50 AM

    It’s hard for me to consider Oden such a bust when it has nothing to do with his playing ability. I would like to think that when a player doesn’t live up to expectations because of injuries we shouldn’t label him a bust.

    It’s not his fault his knees are worthless and it’s not his fault that the Blazers took him over Durant. Everyone knew his knees were shotty and the Blazers messed up.

    In my opinion one of the biggest busts in recent memory would be sebastian telfair. He was supposed to be amazing but never really materialized. Oh and the blazers drafted him too lol

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