Blazers to blame for Greg Oden’s injury-riddled career, claim ex-players
Greg Oden is one of the biggest what-ifs in NBA history. The seven-foot center was drafted first overall in 2007 by the Portland Trail Blazers ahead of future stars like Kevin Durant, Al Horford, Mike Conley and Joakim Noah.
Unfortunately, injuries quickly derailed Oden’s career. The highly touted big man ended up playing only 82 total games in three seasons with the Blazers and another 23 with the Miami Heat before being out of the league for good.
Oden’s injury-plagued past is well documented and is well-known amongst basketball fans. However, on former NBA player Channing Frye’s podcast Talkin’ Blazers, former Portland forward Travis Outlaw dished on Oden’s career injuries
“I felt like they tried to push him too hard. I really thought, like, let him feel his way out first and then you feed him,” Outlaw said of Greg Oden with the Blazers.
At the time, Portland had a star duo of LaMarcus Aldridge and Brandon Roy and were poised to take the next step as true contenders.
In fact, in the 62 games that Aldridge, Roy and Oden played together, the Blazers went 50-12. Despite Oden missing the majority of his career with injuries, when he was on the court, the former Ohio State star showed exactly why he was selected No. 1 overall.
“But, you know when you pick somebody number one, right away you’re trying to show like ‘this is why we picked him.’ I was kind of like, give him that Joel Przybilla role first and then he would have blossomed into something good but they sped his process up,” Frye added.
In the two seasons where he actually played with the Blazers, Oden averaged 15.3 points, 11.9 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per game per 36 minutes while shooting 57.7 percent from the field.