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Greg Oden dunks for first points with Miami Heat (Video)

greg oden dunkGreg Oden on Wednesday played his first minutes in the NBA since December 2009, and he threw down a dunk for his first points with the Miami Heat.

The Heat were losing by more than 30 points in the second quarter against the Washington Wizards when Oden scored. He got the rebound on a missed Dwyane Wade layup attempt, and he went up strong for the dunk. As you can see in the video, his teammates loved it.

We love the enthusiasm on the dunk with the way he pulled himself up Shaq-style. This was his first game in 1,502 days, according to ESPN Stats and Info. It’s really cool to see him playing in a meaningful game again. Savor the moments, too, because it won’t be much longer before Humpty Dumpty falls back apart again.

Video via GIFD Sports

Miami Heat trying to sell Greg Oden gear before he gets hurt

Miami Heat Greg Oden gear

I have to admit, it was pretty cool seeing Greg Oden play in an NBA game, albeit a preseason one, for the first time since 2009. It was thrilling, it was nice to see him back in a game after all he’s been through, and you could tell his Miami Heat teammates were stoked for him. But one group got a little too excited about Oden’s debut: the people running the Heat’s Twitter account.

[Video: Greg Oden dunks on first touch in preseason game]

While Oden was making his preseason debut for the Heat, the team’s Twitter account was trying to push sale of his gear in the team store.

That link took you to a specific page of Greg Oden gear in the team’s online shop.

I guess they had to act fast knowing Oden’s season could end at any time because of another knee injury, but sheesh, maybe wait two games before we start pushing all his gear?

By the way, are we really charging $110 for the jersey of a guy who probably won’t last a month? I think a better investment would be renting an Oden jersey for $20 per game he plays. You’ll still probably come out ahead.

H/T Brett Pollakoff

Greg Oden dunks in first preseason game since 2009 (Video)

Greg Oden dunkGreg Oden played in his first preseason NBA game since 2009, and the Miami Heat center dunked on his first touch.

Oden has been practicing for the Heat on and off because of his problematic knees, but the team had him play on Wednesday night against the New Orleans Pelicans. He checked into the game midway through the second quarter and grabbed two rebounds in addition to that dunk. He was pulled after playing 1:20.

I’ve said that the Heat can’t count on Oden for anything, but it’s great to see him back. You could tell how much his teammates enjoyed watching him throw down. His last regular-season NBA game was Dec. 5 2009 when he was with the Portland Trailblazers.

Greg Oden was told by doctor to retire after latest surgery

Greg OdenGreg Oden signed with the Miami Heat and is attempting to become the first NBA player to return from three microfracture knee surgeries. At 25, the former No. 1 overall pick is still young, but his body is much older than his age indicates. He’s gone through more wear and tear than most athletes go through in their entire careers.

“I got an old body,” Oden told reporters over the weekend, via the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. “I’m going to put it like that. I understand. My body is not going to be when I was 18, able to run all day and jump over people. I can’t do that now. It’s just not going to happen. My knees, the wear and tear of the surgeries, I understand that.”

Since being drafted first overall by the Portland Trailblazers in 2007, Oden has only played in 82 career games. Though everyone still believes he is talented and worth the risk of signing — multiple teams tried getting him before he chose to sign with the Heat — the reality of his situation must be understood. Oden’s knees have gone through so much, he was advised by his latest doctor to just retire after undergoing surgery in February 2012.

“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 said he tried doing that for a few weeks, but he began watching NBA TV and the hunger and desire to play basketball came back to him. His love for the game would not allow him to retire.

It’s admirable that Oden is still trying to play despite everything he has gone through, but this is exactly why I’m not expecting anything from him. He has gone through so much and his body is broken down. I don’t think it will take long for his knees to give out again, which will lead to doctors advising him to retire. Unfortunately, I don’t see him giving the Heat much next season. But at least he does have heart.

H/T Los That Sports Blog

Miami Heat recruited Greg Oden with dinner at Chili’s

Greg Oden

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.

Agent: Greg Oden wants to play for the Heat

When the Blazers finally parted ways with Greg Oden earlier this season it was for the better. Both Portland and Oden needed to make fresh starts after their disastrous courtship suffered yet another injury setback.

After playing just 82 games in the five years since he’s been drafted, Oden, who’s currently recovering from his fifth knee surgery, is more poised than anybody to start the next chapter of his career. And Oden’s agent says the big man already has his sights set on taking his injury-hampered talents to South Beach. The Miami Herald has the details:

[H]is agent, Mike Conley Sr., told us Oden is positioned be ready to play in December or January “as far as being effective and in shape” and will explore options in the coming months, with the possibility of joining a team next season. But nobody obviously can know for sure when he will be ready.

The Heat hasn’t called but “Greg has talked about Miami,” Conley said. “He has interest. He’s not retiring.”

Maybe somebody should tell Oden’s agent that Oden is (wisely) planning to take the next season off to make his way back to full health. But at least the feelings were at least at one point mutual.

But let’s say a year from now the Heat still don’t have the center position solidified. Miami could take a likely cheap flier on Oden, and, if he can prove his health woes are behind him and be at least half the player people expected him to be, the Heat could end up with a huge steal (we understand there was a lot of wishful thinking just used in that hypothetical).

It would be a great fit both ways: the Heat get an answer for the five and Oden lands in an ideal situation. But who are we kidding? Oden probably just wants to get his freak on in South Beach.

Kudos, Pro Basketball Talk
Photo credit: Steve Dykes-US PRESSWIRE

Greg Oden was asked to do porn after his naked pictures hit the Internet

Former Ohio State bench warmer turned writer Mark Titus did a lengthy interview with Greg Oden, his former Buckeyes teammate. The two have known each other since playing AAU ball together in 2001, and it’s apparent in the write-up that Oden is a shy introvert who values his privacy.

Oden allowed Titus to reveal that the real reason he hurt his wrist prior to arriving at Ohio State was because he was defending himself during a fight with his brother. He explained that he began drinking heavily throughout his second season in the NBA because he had a cousin around who became a bad influence. That detail was a startling revelation to most, but not as notable as another tidbit Oden shared.

Oden struggled when his naked pictures hit the web in January 2010, saying that he locked himself in the house for three days after those pictures were released.

A footnote to the interview adds that “numerous porn companies called [Oden's] agent and made offers after they saw the pictures.”

“I wish it wouldn’t have happened,” he said. “But I’m not going to apologize for it. After all, I’m human and there are worse things that 21-year-olds could do. I just got caught up with women throwing themselves at me. When a girl sends me 100 pictures, I have to send something back every now and then. I’m not an a**hole.”

Oden says he rushed back from a surgery to prove he wanted to contribute to the Blazers, but he believes that only led to a third knee surgery. If you didn’t think all that was enough, Oden’s cousin and dog died.

The former No. 1 overall pick is planning to take next season off and he’s hoping to come back in the 2013-2014 season. After seeing how much he’s gone through, I’ll be rooting for him to do well. The guy has had a lot of misfortune. It’s about time things start going his way on the court. And if things don’t, at least he’ll always have a future in porn.