What happened to Greg Oden? Oden Discusses Biggest NBA Regrets

Oden was a campus superstar in Columbus, a quick leaper with a drop step that left defenders in its wake. His talent was so impressive that he was selected first overall in the 2007 NBA Draft. Who was the No. 2 pick that year?

Oden’s career ended abruptly due to a string of injuries. Many people have unfairly labeled Oden the biggest draft bust in league history.

His name became synonymous with Blazer’s misfortune, sandwiched between the LaRue Martin and Sam Bowie selections and Brandon Roy’s deteriorating knees.

Oden’s NBA career ended prematurely. However, his involvement in the sport did not end when he unlaced his sneakers.

Here’s the inside scoop on Greg Oden’s rise, fall, and rebirth as a member of Butler’s coaching staff after a hiatus.

What happened to Greg Oden?

Greg Oden played 114 games in his injury-shortened career, playoffs included. Before the start of his rookie season, he underwent microfracture surgery on his right knee, which likely foreshadowed the following years.

Nonetheless, as a popular college prospect, Oden had not yet received the dreaded ‘bust’ label.

Greg Oden
Greg Oden NBA Draft

Oden was set to miss the entire 2007-08 season while recovering, and his first in-season question came while he could not even suit up.

Though his ailing knee would suggest that he needed to minimize the strain he placed it under, the Portland Trail Blazers center packed on 30 pounds of muscle, all in his upper body.

He would change his strategy after being prompted to do so by former Blazers head coach Nate McMillan.

Oden played 61 games the following season, averaging 8.9 points, 7.0 rebounds, and 1.1 blocks per game. More impressively, despite playing fewer minutes for the majority of the 2008-09 season, he averaged 14.0 points, 11.7 rebounds, 1.2 blocks, and 1.1 steals per game when he played at least 30 minutes.

Greg Oden
Greg Oden

Unfortunately for Oden and the Blazers, he failed to seize these early opportunities. The following season, two weeks after tying his career high of 24 points, Oden sustained a left knee injury and underwent season-ending surgery after only 21 games.

He never played another game for Portland, which released him in March 2012 following three more knee surgeries.
Notably, his initial left knee injury may have resulted from a collision with former forward Corey Maggette near the end of the 2008-09 season.

When he and Maggette collided, Oden chipped his left kneecap and was sidelined for the next three weeks.

However, while the big man believes he should have taken better care of his body, his basketball fate may have been beyond his control.

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