After a four-year hiatus from basketball, former Buckeye standout Greg Oden is back. Somewhat. He is not expected to play in a game for a while, but Miami didn’t have opening night in mind when they signed him anyway. Tuesday was the first time Oden had participated in an official basketball practice, and is if it wasn’t weird enough to be on the court for the first time, Oden and the Heat began their practice season in the Bahamas. Life is good for the champs.
Oden thrived in his lone season at Ohio State, nearly averaging a double-double (15.7 ppg and 9.6 rpg) in 28 minutes of playing time per game. Despite playing with a ligament injury in his shooting wrist, Oden carried the Buckeyes to the championship game, where they fell to the Florida Gators. Oden was taken by the Portland Trail Blazers with the first pick, over superstar Kevin Durant, and was a major disappointment. Over the next five seasons in Portland, Oden played in 82 games due to chronic knee problems. Durant soon became a scoring champion and led his Thunder to the Finals, further pushing Oden towards the label of bust.
The signing with Heat could be the restart Oden needs on his career. Similar to the role Chris Anderson played last season en route to their second straight title, the Heat could be looking for a defensive presence and rebounding machine. But all that still looks far-fetched, as Oden has yet to even be cleared for contact. For all Oden happenings and updates, stay tuned to scarletandgame.com!