Greg Oden has decided to sign with the Miami Heat, giving the two-time defending champs an interesting wild card as they look to make it three titles in a row. Oden is a former No. 1 overall pick who can give them the defensive presence in the middle, but the guy has not played in an NBA game since 2009 and is coming back from three microfracture knee surgeries. Still, despite his injury history, there were several teams interested in signing him.
So how did the Heat beat out all the others suitors? Having LeBron James doesn’t hurt, but a comfortable dinner at Chili’s definitely helped.
According to FOX Sports Florida’s Chris Tomasson, Oden had a good time talking with Heat coach Erik Spoelstra during a dinner meeting at Chili’s.
“He really liked talking with Erik at Chili’s,” Oden’s agent Mike Conley Sr. told Tomasson. “I think that played a major role. He just felt very comfortable with him.”
Chili’s huh? You know Oden is about that baby back ribs life. And he’s certainly low maintenance, too.
Oden will sign a two-year deal for the minimum, which will be $1.027 million next season based on his experience. He also has a $1.145 million option for 2014-2015.
A lot of people like the signing because they believe it is low-risk for Miami. Oden will not be pushed to perform early in the season, and he will have the comfort of knowing they were able to win two titles without him. The thinking is that he’ll be able to contribute at his pace.
I certainly understand all that, and I definitely recognize how good Oden used to be. But I have a problem with getting excited about a team signing a guy you can’t count on. To me, this is just like Brandon Roy. Good guy who used to be a great player, but he just has too many knee problems to play in the NBA. Hopefully I’m proven wrong.Google+