Former number one draft pick Greg Oden recently decided to sign with the Miami Heat this summer, raising questions whether the seven-footer with chronic knee issues still had anything to give to the NBA. Apparently, Oden was advised by his surgeon in 2012 to give up basketball after his last surgery, advise that Oden chose not to take. Here are details via the Sun Sentinel’s Ira Winderman:
“After that surgery in 2012, my last surgery, the doctor said, ‘Just be a regular person, go live life. Be a regular person. You would be perfectly fine walking out of this place and not have to worry about any rehab or anything,’ ” Oden related during a news conference and conference call at St. Vincent Sports Performance in Indianapolis, where he endured the most grueling portions of his rehab work.
“And I did, and then two weeks later, I was stuck on NBA TV. That’s just what I watch every day. I turn on TV and I’m watching NBA TV. I just wanted to play basketball. That’s my love; that’s what I wanted to do.”
Oden hasn’t played in an NBA game since 2010 and has only played in 82 games total since being drafted #1 overall in 2007. The Heat have won back-to-back championships in the last couple seasons so signing Oden was a bit of a luxury, and if he can remain healthy, round into playing shape and give the Miami 10-15 minutes of solid production by the playoffs then their risk — and his — will have paid off.
H/T to ProBasketballTalk for the scoop