Greg Oden remains one of the tragic figures of the NBA in the 21st century. Filled with promise, selected first overall by the Portland Trail Blazers ahead of Kevin Durant, persistent knee injuries refused to let him stay on the court. After a brief attempted comeback with the Miami Heat, Oden’s playing career petered out in China last season, and he’s back at Ohio State to get his degree and help out with the basketball team. On his way back there, it seems like he’s gained some somber perspective.
Here’s what he had to say about his NBA career:
“I’ll be remembered as the biggest bust in NBA history,” Oden told Outside the Lines. “But I can’t do nothing about that.”
It’s desperately sad to hear someone say something that damning about himself, but for possessing such agonizing lost potential, Oden seems to be relatively at peace with all of it. It helps that it was injuries, rather than ineffectiveness, that kept him from his NBA career. Let’s face it, it’s terribly difficult to find someone who resents Oden for how things went. Most just feel bad for him.
On the bright side, we’re in year four of Anthony Bennett failing to make any meaningful impact in basketball games, and he himself was a number one overall pick. Though Oden admitted that his knees won’t allow him to further pursue his own playing career, there’s still hope for him yet in the annals of history. Although No. 2 biggest bust in NBA history isn’t really getting him any extra punches on his sub card.