A Very American Coup By Michael – Louis Ingram, Editor-in-Chief...
How does Greg Odenâ€™s story end?
Let’s take a short stroll through Oden’s basketball life shall we?
Oden attended Lawrence North High School in Indianapolis, Indiana.
From 2003-2005 Oden and Wildcat teammate Mike Conley led LN to three straight 4A state titles. Oden was named the National High School Player of the Year in 2005 and 2006. Oden and Conley both decided to attend the Ohio State University for the 2006-2007 season.
Oden had wrist surgery prior to his freshman year which kept him out until December of that season. He ended that season as a first team All Big Ten Player and the defensive player of the year in the conference.
Oden led the Buckeyes to the National title game against Florida where they eventually lost. Oden was not at fault for the loss as he dominated the Gators front line with 25 points, 12 rebounds and 4 blocks.
Oden was the first overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft to the Portland Trailblazers. He has played three injury riddled seasons and has shown flashes of his extraordinary potential. And that is kind of where his story stops.
Greg Oden is a “once in a decade player” as Steve Kerr once said. He has a mountain of potential and skill, but just hasn’t been able to show it for a full NBA season. When he is healthy and is on the court, he is a dominant force in the middle. Easily capable of averaging 20 points and 10 rebounds a night.
Oden’s contract with the Blazers is up this coming off season and will most likely be let go by the team. He won’t be a cheap pick up, however. Oden’s potential and skill set are still much to be desired.
Those who think they will be able to sign him for a league minimum type of number are sorely mistaken. Oden is still going to demand big dollars. Not as big as he would have commanded had he been healthy these past four seasons, but not cheap.
So where does Oden go from here? Does he continue to be cursed and end up like a Sam Bowie or does he persevere through the injuries and resurrect his game like a Grant Hill? In my opinion, somebody better sign him for good money and hope to god he is right. This kid is a monster and still has a lot of good miles left on him. Lots of athletes have overcome injuries to start their career and go on to have great success.
Greg Oden is still a future all star. He is a great kid and deserves a little bit of success on the NBA court. He has accomplished everything else in his basketball life. It’s up to him to end this thing the right way.