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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Greg Oden: Time to Lay It Down?

Greg Oden was the #1 pick of the Portland Trailblazers in the 2007 NBA Draft. Four seasons have come and gone since then. Greg Oden has played 82 regular season games. There are 82 games in an NBA regular season.

Yesterday, it was announced that Oden had his third microfracture knee surgery of his career, two on the left knee and one on the right. Oden missed the entire 2007-2008 season, last season, and will now miss all of this season due to knee surgeries.

When Oden was a standout in his freshman year at Ohio State, at age 19, it was often lightheartedly pointed out that Oden looked years, possibly decades older than he really was. Now, at age 24, his body is showing the durability of a player advanced in age. He’s breaking down on the outside as well as the inside. The “old before his time” references aren’t funny anymore.

If Oden makes a full recovery from surgery and is ready for the 2012-2013 season, or can minimally play in a significant portion of the season, he will start the year having missed roughly four times as many games as he has played, averaging 9 points, 7 rebounds, and a blocked shot per game for his short career. If he cannot meaningfully participate in the 2012-13 season, it begs the question of whether the top prospect of five years ago will ever realize any level of NBA achievement, if he plays at all.

Greg Oden’s story could turn into one of the greatest comeback stories in the history of American sports, with the aid of his (relative) youth and modern medicine. With each successive setback, his story slides closer to being yet another tale of unrealized, enormous potential.

2007 feels like a long time ago. 1

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  1. Greg's story is just disastrous. He has enormous potential, but the injury bugs on his knee have turned his career upside down. I am with you on your statement that "his story can turn into one of the greatest comeback stories in the history of American sports" if he takes time recovering and healing his knees. Let's hope for the best for this guy.

  2. Sienna: Thank you so much for reading! I really wish the man the best. It is like Sam Bowie all over again.