Last week, former Portland Trail Blazers’ big man Greg Oden came out and stated that he was the biggest bust in NBA history. There are many would agree with that premise given his failure to live up to those lofty expectations. However, the player taken after him in the draft isn’t pleased with that label being placed on him, according to ESPN.com.
“Nonsense. That’s nonsense. In order for you to be a bust, you have to actually play and show people that you progressed as a player. He didn’t get a chance to…he got injured, and that was unfortunate. But when he did play, he was a force. Protecting the paint.”
“He didn’t want to get hurt. That was the last thing he wanted to do was to get hurt. That wasn’t even in the cards, and he got injured and that was unfortunate. But when he did play, he was a force. Protecting the paint. They were so good with him and LaMarcus down low, with Brandon Roy [and] Andre Miller at the time. They had a nice team. So he was a big part of that.
“He’s not a bust. He just didn’t play a long time because of injuries, and that’s just what it is.”
Kevin Durant does have a valid point in regards to him not being able to play because of injuries. When Oden was on the floor he showed plenty of promise and ability to be a game-changer averaging 11.1 points, 8.5 rebounds, and 2.3 blocks in his second before suffering another leg injury. He just didn’t have a chance to expand on that with the multitude of injuries that occurred.
If Oden had been able to stay healthy, there was a solid chance that he could have developed into a franchise cornerstone player. It would have been interesting to see if he could have been a factor during this era of the NBA focusing on small lineups and 3-pointers. That said, Oden at least remains one of the biggest “what if” scenarios in league history.