“I’ll be remembered as the biggest bust in NBA history,” said former No. I pick and 7 feet tall Greg Oden in an interview with ESPN “Outside the Lines.”
Oden was the first overall in the 2007 draft picked by the Portland Trail Blazers. He was considered by many to be the next great big man in the NBA after one season at Ohio State. In his only season at Ohio, Oden averaged 15.7 points, 9.6 rebounds, and 3.3 blocks per games, 61.6 field goal percentage, and 62.8 percentage from the foul line, in 28.9 minutes (32 games played). Oden was named the 2007 Wooden All-American, NABC National Defensive Player of the Year, Pete Newell Big Man of the Year, Big Ten Freshman of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year, and First-Team All-Big Ten. He helped Ohio State win the 2006-2007 NCAA championship.
“Legit seven-footer with all the physical attributes to develop into a dominant NBA center. A game-changer on defense with his ability to block shots and rebound. Runs the floor exceptionally well. Plays with a calm and confident demeanor.”, according to nba.com.
Oden came into the NBA with a lot of potential and the Trail Blazers viewed him as their next franchise player but he sat out his rookie season because of microfracture surgery (right knee).
In 2009-2010, he severely injured his left kneecap. Later, he had two more microfracture surgeries on his left knee. Which caused him to miss the final two seasons with Portland. Due to the injuries, Oden played only 82 games in five seasons for the Trail Blazers. He missed the 2012-2013 to focus on rehabilitation and last played in the NBA in 2013-2014 for the Miami Heat.
“Don’t get me wrong,” Oden said. “If I was healthy, I would love to continue playing, but I’m not healthy,” said Oden
For his NBA career, Oden averaged 8.0 points, 6.2 rebounds, 1.2 blocks, .574 field percentage, .658 free throw percentage in 19.3 minutes and played in 105 total games (66 as a starter).
Oden brutal honesty is something to admire but he isn’t a bust, he just had bad luck with injuries. Which that didn’t allow him to reach his full potential as an NBA player.
Oden didn’t meet a lot of people expectations but calling him a bust is unfair. Due to injuries, Oden wasn’t to become the great NBA player
“I don’t think I was that bad when I was on the court,” Oden said. “I felt like it could have just got better if I had more time on there.”
Golden State Warrior and small forward Kevin Durant, who was taken no. 2 in the same draft as Oden said,
“In order for you to be a bust, you have to actually play and show people that you progressed as a player. He didn’t get a chance to.”
“He didn’t want to get hurt. That was the last thing he wanted to do was to get hurt,” Durant told ESPN. “That wasn’t even in the cards, and he got injured and that was unfortunate. But when he did play, he was a force.”