HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — Greg Oden‘s season is over in Portland.
It might be time for the whole experiment to come to an end.
The news came late Wednesday night via Twitter first (where else would it come from these days?). Another microfracture surgery scheduled for Friday morning, it ought to be the 13th for Trail Blazers fans, Oden and the organization that cheered his arrival four years ago like the championship banner was strictly a matter of when and not if.
We’re talking about a 22-year-old behemoth with three season-ending knee surgeries in four years people — THREE in FOUR YEARS. Let that marinate for a second and then realize what a devastating blow this has to be to all involved.
The recovery time for microfracture surgery is anywhere from six to 12 months. That means Oden’s next step might not come until January of 2012 or later. He’s done in Portland. And I know the organization will stick by him through his rehabilitation, as they should. But beyond that, they owe him nothing.
They’ve paid him close to $20 million for a grand total of 82 games of actual work. The rest of the time he’s spent in the training and operating room. That’s just the facts.
If you invest $20 million in a project in the business world and it goes awry, you don’t keep pouring money into the project. You cut your losses and move on to the next venture.
Oden will get another shot at this. If Michael Olowokandi, Kwame Brown and Darko Milicic all got second, third and even fourth chances, Oden will play basketball for someone in the NBA if he wants to. That much is up to him.
But the Trail Blazers have to move on. Trying to patch up the gentle giant and march him out there in those Rip City colors one more time is a scene we have no interest in viewing.