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Greg Oden opens up about being called an NBA ‘bust’

NBA, Greg Oden

As part of a recent podcast interview with Alex Kennedy of HoopsHype, former NBA big man Greg Oden opened up about being labeled “a bust.”

Oden’s popularity first began to rise while playing for Ohio State. In his lone season with the Buckeyes (2006-07), the seven-foot center led the team to a Big Ten championship.

NBA scouts had their eye on Oden, as he was clearly a dominant force in the paint. Ultimately, the Portland Trail Blazers made him the No. 1 overall pick in 2007. Unfortunately, though, he missed the entire 2007-08 season after undergoing microfracture surgery on his knee.

Injuries continued to hamper Oden’s playing time as the season has gone on. As a result, the Trail Blazers decided to waive him in May of 2012. He signed with the Miami Heat in August of 2013 but failed to gain traction as a contributing factor.

Fair or not, most NBA analysts label Oden “a bust,” but he doesn’t necessarily see it that way:

“You read those?! First off, I don’t read comments at all. I may read the first three comments, which are usually people you know, but I don’t scroll down and care about that stuff,” Oden said in his interview with HoopsHype. “Honestly, with the word “bust,” I used to throw it around when talking about myself. I kind of took the power away from it by saying it, like, ‘I might be a bust, but that’s somebody else’s personal thought.’

“I had an opportunity and it didn’t work out, which was unfortunate. It didn’t turn out the way that it was supposed to, but I think I was actually one heck of a basketball player back in the day,” Oden added. “Funny story about that word “bust”: If you go to YouTube and type in “Greg Oden highlight video,” the best one is actually the one titled “Greg Oden: A Bust?” Go watch that. I’ve watched it. I actually watch it a lot, it makes me feel good about myself! (laughs)”

Oden played in 105 games over the course of his career in the NBA, racking up averages of 8.0 points on 57.4 percent shooting from the field and 6.2 rebounds.

Might Oden have been a different player were it not for injuries? It seems we’re only left to wonder.