Greg Oden’s NBA comeback was short-lived, but the former No. one overall pick’s basketball career may continue in China. According to Sportando, Oden is working out with Jiangsu Kentier, which could hopefully turn into a contract.
The former top pick of the NBA draft will have a one-week workout with Chinese team Jiangsu Kentier at the end of this month. If Oden passes the tryout he will sign a one-year contract with the Chinese club.
Oden last played in the NBA for the Miami Heat in 2013-14. It was a low-risk, high-reward move for the Heat, and there were a few games in which it looked like the Heat would reap those rewards. Oden didn’t play all that much, but he at times showed what made him such a tantalizing prospect in the first place. Unfortunately, the comeback was over almost as soon as it started, as Oden was arrested on battery charges in the summer of 2014.
Perhaps playing in China is what’s best for Oden. He won’t have to deal with the pressures and expectations of being a former top pick, nor will the cloud of being a bust loom over his head. It’s similar to Stephan Marbury’s career trajectory. Though Marbury was far more successful in the NBA than Oden, it wasn’t until he signed overseas that he truly found a home. Since that time, Marbury has become an icon in China, winning multiple championships, a Finals MVP, even having a musical based on his life. Oden probably won’t reach Starbury’s heights in terms of fame, but if he even has a decent career overseas and never makes it back to the NBA, that’s still a win at this point.