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Greg Oden wants to return to NBA next season, ideally play more

Jun 12, 2014, 12:31 AM EDT

Indiana Pacers v Miami Heat - Game 6 Indiana Pacers v Miami Heat - Game 6

Greg Oden has appeared in an NBA Finals game — he played 1:36 at the garbage time end of Game 3, when the Spurs were destined to win.

On one hand, that’s an amazing comeback — Oden had seven knee surgeries, three microfracture, and where most would have given up and just lived the rest of their lives comfortably on the million he made off his rookie deal as the former No. 1 pick, he loved the game enough to fight all the way back and make the Miami Heat.

Still, Oden wishes he got to play a little more. He wants to return to the NBA next season and make that happen, he told Chris Haynes of

“Yeah, I’m sure I’m playing again next year but honestly I haven’t given that much thought,” Oden told Wednesday after practice. “I’m trying to concentrate on this and getting this ring first and after that, that’s part of the thought process. My body feels good. I can still play.  I’ll be alright….

“It wasn’t what I was hoping it would be,” the big man said. “I would definitely like to have played more but you know, everything that I’ve been through, I’m just happy to be out there and being on a team. Last year  I wasn’t and this year I’m on a team that possibly can win the championship. I’m happy in that, but personally, playing wise, I’m not has happy as I want to be.”

The Heat have succeeded going small but brought in Oden as insurance in case they needed to go big, particularly against Roy Hibbert and the Indiana Pacers. Turns out they didn’t — Indiana still can’t deal with the Heat’s small ball game. So Oden sat.

Still, I’m with Heat coach Erik Spoelstra on this.

“Greg Oden is one of the biggest success stories in this league, and unfortunately people are only judging him by the fact of how many minutes he plays,” Spoelstra said during the Finals. “Two years ago people were saying he would never play the game again and he’s available every night.”

Some team is going to take a chance on Oden for next season. Whether or not he gets more playing time remains to be seen, but for his sake I hope he gets the chance. And his knees let him.

  1. kb2408 - Jun 12, 2014 at 1:07 AM

    Hopefully, the Spurs will be up by so many points in the title clinching game, Coach Spo will be able to give Oden an extended stretch of minutes. After all he’s been through he would deserve it.

    • tomshoe - Jun 12, 2014 at 2:47 AM

      He should have just gone to the Spurs in the first place when they gave him the choice. Pop is known for giving people decent PT.

      If he misses out on a ring, that’s on him.

    • billtetley53 - Jun 12, 2014 at 9:33 AM

      Hopefully, you will dry up and blow away when your latest prediction does not come to fruition.
      More than likely, we are in for ANOTHER name change.

      Dont be encouraged by all your thumbs up(I know you base your self worth on them), there are a lot of Heat haters on these boards who most likely will thumb up anything anti heat. Once the series is over, and the Heat win, they will realize what an annoying jizzbag you are, and turn on you.

      • kb2408 - Jun 12, 2014 at 9:41 AM

        “Jizzbag”? And I’m the annoying one? Your only reason for existing is to stalk me on PBT. What a lame old man you surely must be, billbitely53. You and old man Sterling should hang out. Two old, miserable losers stuck in the past. “Jizzbag”?! Who even uses words like that??

  2. eugenesaxe1 - Jun 12, 2014 at 2:13 AM

    He speaks of getting a ring like he’s done something to earn it. Be happy you can walk.

  3. Nadeem - Jun 12, 2014 at 2:47 AM

    Spurs should win the Championship…you cannot have Oden win a championship ring before Durant. That would feel just wrong.

    • doclolly - Jun 12, 2014 at 5:40 PM

      you know whats wrong Darko Milicic getting a ring before lebron, carmelo, wade, bosh

      • daddyghi - Jun 12, 2014 at 9:22 PM

        forget about Lebron, bosh and wade… he has more rings than Melo!

  4. ravenswhat - Jun 12, 2014 at 7:11 AM

    How many GMs aren’t working anymore because of this bust?

    • dacapt704 - Jun 12, 2014 at 1:19 PM

      A bust is when you can’t play bc you stink, he was injured..not his fault. G.O. was a beast when he was able to run. IJS

  5. mnsadsportsfan - Jun 12, 2014 at 8:20 AM

    How sad. He played this season?

  6. hwatt - Jun 12, 2014 at 8:37 AM

    hopefully wherever he lands he gets the keep relatively stress-free, 10 minutes a night. Bc if he goes full time those knees are gone. back to being the beast of the local gym

  7. udkidd - Jun 12, 2014 at 9:36 AM

    Amare Stoudimire had two surgeries on his knees and he was playing like 30 minutes this year. Oden is 5 years younger.

    • kb2408 - Jun 12, 2014 at 9:45 AM

      Yeah, now list all the players that had knee injuries that never made it back.

      • udkidd - Jun 12, 2014 at 9:56 AM

        Yeah but most of those players were older when the injuries happen. AKA Chris Webber. Never the same.

        Shaun Livingston returned and played well enough for another 2-3 contract most likely this offseason.

      • mogogo1 - Jun 12, 2014 at 12:10 PM

        Oden is a pretty unique case. Most guys get injured, rehab and come back in a fairly short period of time. Oden got hurt, couldn’t come back, was out of the game completely for several years, then returned but has looked ineffective. He’s had tons of time to heal, hasn’t been pushed overly hard since his return, had plenty of time to practice and get back into the groove. He’s not likely to get much better than what he’s shown this season. He’s a great guy, but that is the sad reality.

    • hwatt - Jun 12, 2014 at 10:39 AM

      Amare Stoudimire wasn’t injury prone and sidelined in his first years in the league. Let’s ask Brandon Roy how that comeback of his is coming along

    • dacapt704 - Jun 12, 2014 at 1:18 PM

      Amare also wasn’t/isn’t 7 feet 300 lbs either…Greg’s carrying much more pressure on his knees and in case you didn’t read the article he’s had 3 surgeries

  8. adoombray - Jun 12, 2014 at 9:53 AM

    Chris Anderson has been a turnstyle at best. The Heat got destroyed in game 3 because they couldn’t handle the Spurs bigs, and if Oden had anything left they would have played him. Sorry guys, I’m just not impressed that the Heat have some guy sitting on the bench who is so frail and not good at basketball that Rashard Lewis starts over him. Even in the no point guard lineups Oden can’t get PT.

    • mogogo1 - Jun 12, 2014 at 12:17 PM

      Anderson has never been a strong defender. He’s a hustle guy who brings energy and blocks a few shots coming over from the help side. It’s always amazed me how many fans (and apparently the Nuggets front office) had the idea he was the second coming of Dennis Rodman or something.

      The Heat really have asked very little of Oden yet he still hasn’t been able to deliver. There’s not another team in the league who would be able to sit a guy for the huge bulk of the year in the hopes he would help them out deep in the playoffs. Every other team would want him to show he could play consistent minutes and be a regular part of the rotation.

  9. djshnooks - Jun 12, 2014 at 11:41 AM

    And I want to win the lottery.

    Dudes knees are shot, give it up.

  10. rrhoe - Jun 12, 2014 at 11:47 AM

    And people in hell want water,of course he wants another contract from someboby,who doesn’t,what else is he supposed to say. If he was showing anything in practice he would be in the games getting to work up a sweat ,but between him and Beasley they apparently are not showing/doing enough to warrant extended minutes,make that,any minutes.

  11. dacapt704 - Jun 12, 2014 at 1:24 PM

    Greg is a great guy, very humble and he does work hard despite what people think. The problem is that his knees swell up AWFUL after any extended time on the court, which is why Spo held him out of back to back practice days this season. He wants to play very badly and he does listen to the criticism (which he shouldn’t but he’s young)…it’s easy to type on keyboards bashing a guy but I guess for me bc I’ve known him since he was 14, I understand what he’s been through. He’s got plenty of money in the bank bc he never lived like an NBA player so he’s not out for a check..he LOVES to play ball and wants to live out his dream if possible..

  12. blazenhawks - Jun 12, 2014 at 1:52 PM

    Eff you Oden you don’t deserve anything. this guy is not a great guy at all.

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