Greg Oden: ‘I’ll be remembered as the biggest bust in NBA history’
When Greg Oden formally announced his retirement from basketball last month, it put the finishing touches on one of the more disappointing careers in NBA history.
But Oden this week took it one step further this week by making the following sad proclamation:
“I’ll be remembered as the biggest bust in NBA history,” Oden told ESPN’s Outside the Lines. “But I can’t do nothing about that.”
Oden’s case as being the biggest bust in the history of the NBA isn’t without merit. Selected as the first-overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft by the Portland Trail Blazers after a stellar one-and-done season at Ohio State, Oden’s seemingly fragile body and resultant litany of injuries derailed everything, never really allowing his NBA career get off the ground.
Oden, 28, earlier this year became a student-assistant coach with the Buckeyes and re-enrolled at the school to pursue a degree. It essentially confirmed the inevitable, yet it took Oden quite some time to officially call it quits.
“Don’t get me wrong,” Oden said. “If I was healthy, I would love to continue playing, but I’m not healthy.”
And therein lies the problem with Oden. The seven-footer managed to play in only 82 games over five NBA seasons with the Blazers. He moved on to play in 23 games with the Miami Heat during the 2013-14 season. But all told, in those six seasons, Oden only appeared in games in three of them.
Oden then headed to the Chinese Basketball Association after signing a one-year, $1.2 million deal with the Jiangsu Dragons, playing in 25 games in 2015-16.
But Oden ultimately recognized his professional basketball career was finished. In an interview with the Indianapolis Star shortly after his retirement announcement, Oden attempted to put all the disappointment in perspective while looking forward.
“I’m still trying to figure out my life. Since I’ve been in fourth grade, all I’ve known was basketball,” he said. “I’m just trying to better myself and work on my degree and set something up for the future of my family.”
Embarking upon that journey while believing he’s the “biggest bust in NBA history” is tough, but given all he’s been through, let’s hope Oden can at last find some peace.