Another Lost Season For Greg Oden

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — Portland Trail Blazers center Greg Oden is losing yet another season to injury.

The horrible news came this evening, when the franchise announced that Oden underwent yet another microfracture surgery on his left knee earlier today.

What was supposed to be a routine procedure to clean debris out of his knee ended up costing the No. 1 pick in the 2007 NBA Draft the entire 2011-12 season. Oden has had microfracture procedures on both knees, a fractured knee cap and these two surgeries this month, a diabolical cocktail for a player once believed to be the future of the franchise.

The team released the news via statement, explaining exactly how this latest twist came about:

“Initially, Greg was undergoing a procedure similar to the one he had a couple of weeks ago to have debris cleared from his right knee,” said Acting General Manager Chad Buchanan. “However, once the doctors were inside Greg’s left knee, they unfortunately found articular surface damage and determined microfracture was necessary.”

Oden, who will become an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season, was selected by the Trail Blazers with the first overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft. In 82 career games (60 starts), Oden has averaged 9.4 points (57.7% FG), 7.3 rebounds and 1.43 blocks in 22.1 minutes per game.

“This is not the news we were hoping for Greg or the organization,” said Trail Blazers President Larry Miller. “It’s hard to put into words the heartbreak for everyone involved, but especially for Greg. He’s a young man who has experienced a great number of physical challenges in his playing career and today is yet another significant setback for him. We have a lot of empathy for Greg and his family during this difficult time.”

I watched Oden play as a freshman in high school, and like most predicted a long and prosperous NBA future for the teenager who looked like a 40-year-old man then (complete with a full beard). He was the best high school freshman big man I’d seen in person since I watched Chris Webber as a freshman in high school. He was that dominant at a 14-year-old.

Never in a million years would I have imagined his career would be the injury-filled roller coaster it has become. Oden has played in just 82 games during his career, averaging 9.4 points and 7.3 rebounds. He hasn’t set foot in a game since Dec. 5, 2009. If he never makes another appearance, his story has already been written.

He’ll go down as one of the most snake-bitten No. 1 picks in the history of the NBA and any other professional league. I’ve heard some people complain that no one should feel any sympathy for a player who has made millions but never lived up to the hype that accompanied his rise to fame.

But I would argue that Oden’s tale is a bit different. This isn’t about a player that didn’t have the desire to be great. This is the tale of a player who never got the chance to chase that greatness because he didn’t have two good knees to stand on when the time came. And I can’t imagine a more cruel fate for any athlete who reached the level Oden did before his injuries started piling up.


  1. T says:

    It’s strange what’s happened to him. I watched him play all four years of high school and he was a monster. He had it all and you could see the potential he had on offense too. Good feet. Good hands. Soft touch. Made his free-throws. He cold run the floor like a wing. And he was just tall, huge, long and athletic. My only knocks on him were his lack of a real back to the basket game (which is normal for young bigs) and the fact I just wanted him to play with more selfishness.

    IF he’d never gotten injured, etc I think he’d have had a high chance to be the best center in basketball. He’s got size on Howard like Bynum does.

    It’s really sad what’s happened to him and to hear the criticisms of people. He wasn’t lazy and didn’t try hard. He tried hard and for him to repeatedly keep trying to come back from these injuries tells a lot about his character/mental strength. It’s NOT easy coming back from MICRO.

  2. StuBrew says:

    Greg Oden should just give up and retire. Not to mention he is the biggest choke artist in the NBA, he should be ashamed to call himself the guy who was the 1st draft pick from the 2007 draft when he keeps choking up.

  3. Kratos' rage says:

    But come to think of it if he’s healthy, dwight howard will have a run for his money so thus bynum because in the short time he played, we saw flashes of dominance. I don’t like the guy but i don’t hate him. i know Portland saw what he can do thats why the guy is still in the team. Lets see….

  4. NBAknowitall says:

    Guy should retire and stop milking the NBA for money, get a job and accept your career as a basketball player is over. why hasn’t he retired? cause why retire when you get paid millions to do NOTHING. i call that LAZY.

    RETIRE and work out and try to make a comeback, don’t milk the organization for money because you are lazy and unable to play. Portland make him get a REAL JOB

    p.s, Portland, can you pay me to ride the pines so I don’t have to work a regular person job?

  5. blair56 says:

    Greg Oden’s career stats per 36 minutes: 15.3 ppg, 11.9 rpg, 2.3 bpg all while shooting 58% from the field. Keep in mind that these stats are only in 82 total games. This guy was going to be a an absolute beast and the battles him and Dwight Howard could have had would have been epic.

  6. lkallday45 says:

    Yea, both him and the Blazers are snake-bitten. He’s still young though. I could see him going to another team, and being a solid contributor. What is the explanation for all of this anyway? Does he have degenerative knees like Roy? How does something like this keep happening – even though the man isn’t even playing? Crazy. And what’s worse? The fact that Nate is actually a good coach. They won’t be seeing the lottery again for awhile – b/c he does such a good job. Miller, Matthews, Batum, Wallace and Aldridge is a good 5. Add B. Roy and Oden to that mix, and they are one of the favorites in the West.

  7. tre' says:

    This guy had the potential to easily be the best center in the game.
    7’0″, 260 lbs, and a monster wingspan.
    He was already blocking shots and bullying his way in, even with raw and untouched potential.

    A great talent we’ll probably never see.

    • kobe says:

      cmon Tre best center in the game..he has no offensive skills..great rebounder yes…great defender no..little slow when it came to moving his feet..

  8. kobe says:


  9. Kratos' Rage says:

    It’s best for portland get rid of him because it’s just a waist of time keeping him. It’s been what 3-4 years now and still he on the back of the bench with his fancy suite drinking is gatorade sweating on his sit watching guys like brandon roy end his career because of playing his heart out. He should be the one taking over what brandon roy left. I know he could be a good player it’s really better to move him out. Lamarcus aldridge now is the leader and he needs help inside. Camby is not young but still effective as ever. You should either release him or trade him for a healthy big guy

  10. NBAknowitall says:

    I hate to hear story’s of guys who are plagued with injuries, But I think the Portland Trailblazers are just bad luck. Could have Durant now and MJ back in the about bad picks

  11. jonski22 says:

    what “season”?..the guy never plays…

  12. nea_nelu says:

    after seeing Grant Hill still play after all those injuries i say nothing is impossible. He can still be a solid center but i don’t think he would dominate with 2 bad knees. Too bad because he was my pick for next best center in the league. “U can’t fake the funk on a nasty dunk”

  13. armin halvadzic says:

    it seems almost impossibile but I still belive Oden can overcome his inyuries and comeback as a starting center for almost any team in the nba. Just wait and give him a chance. Grant Hill had a rocky way but was able to get healthy and same goes for Big Z.

  14. tay says:

    feel bad for the guy. must be mentally hard to give up playing so many times and not know if you’ll ever play again at the highest level. it’s beginning to be like a yao-ming situation for oden. every time he thinks he can get back, something else happens that tells him he can’t.

  15. scott says:

    gred oden should be released and just throw in the white towel, he is obviously never going to be healthy again and there is no use in a team paying millions of dollars to have him ride the pines.

  16. prix says:

    I admired him for his shot blocking ability and his defensive awareness..too bad for him…he is a monster in Ohio state, can´t predict if he´s coming back, if ever he could be like Grant Hill..maybe the next big man who will destroy Bynum, Howard or Gasol inside the paint..who knows..we never expect Linsanty as well…

    • kobe says:


    • OKCKD35 says:

      i would just like to thank portland for taking this bullet. Long time seatlle/okc fan. We could either have a 2 time scoring champion and playing for a chance at the finals or a bust who has played 82 games in 4 years. Nate (Mr. Sonic) i love you man, you were one of the greatest Sonics, but man its got to be tough watching KD go off.