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Greg Oden reportedly had alcohol problem last season

Greg OdenDetails about a sad truth concerning Greg Oden are emerging this week: the often-injured center has an alcohol problem that was an issue last season.

In a 2012 article on Grantland, Oden told former Ohio State teammate Mark Titus that he became an alcoholic during his second season in Portland.

“If you know anything about guys in the Air Force,” Oden explained, “it’s that they drink a ton. My cousin got wrapped up in the NBA lifestyle and threw parties at my house all the time. So I got wrapped up in it too. When I played well, I’d drink to celebrate. And when I played poorly, I’d drink to forget. That second year in Portland I pretty much became an alcoholic.”

It sounds like not much has changed in that regard.

Oden, who spent most of last season on the bench for the Miami Heat while recovering from his knee injuries, was arrested last month for allegedly punching his girlfriend multiple times. He has been charged with a felony and is due in court this week. He was drinking that night and his girlfriend told police Oden “sometimes gets upset when he drinks.”

In a column this week about Oden, ESPN’s Michael Wallace discussed some of the alcohol issues the center had last seaosn.

Privately, his battle with personal demons still raged, according to multiple sources. Alcohol abuse remained a concern last season as he sat out many games because of soreness in his knees and back.
[...]
He didn’t hang out with many teammates when he did travel, choosing instead to venture out alone or with friends outside of the team.

Additionally, Miami Heat reporter Ethan J. Skolnick of Bleacher Report said after traveling with the team last season, he was not surprised to learn that alcohol was involved in the domestic incident.

It’s really a shame with Oden. On the outside, he seems to handle the reality about being a huge bust pretty well. He’s honest about it and shares self-deprecating humor. But those are probably just attempts to mask the pain. It’s hard for anyone to live that kind of life — always injured and considered a disappointment.

Greg Oden allegedly punched ex-girlfriend three times, broke her nose

Greg Oden mug shot

Greg Oden was arrested last week after allegedly punching his ex-girlfriend and he was charged Monday with three crimes including a felony.

The former Miami Heat center and No. 1 overall pick was charged with felony battery resulting in serious bodily injury, misdemeanor domestic battery, and misdemeanor battery resulting in serious bodily injury by Marion Superior County.

According to the Indy Star, police documents say Oden punched ex-girlfriend Christina Green in the face three times which broke her nose. The incident came after a night of drinking at a club. Oden’s mother allegedly heard the commotion and came over to pull her son off Green. She said the two have an argument every time they come over.

Green did not seem to cooperate with police at first. She was found with swelling and cuts on her nose and forehead and blood was seen on the sofa and ground, but she reportedly told responding officers that she fell. She would not allow officials to photograph her injuries.

Oden supposedly was cooperative with police and supposedly admitted his guilt.

“Thing go out of control, and I started to go after Christina. My mother and Toni tried to hold me back, but I swung my arms to move them out of the way and then punched Christina in the face. I was wrong, and I know what has to happen.”

Green was taken to the hospital and received three stitches for a cut.

Miami Heat reporter Ethan J. Skolnick added this after seeing the story about Oden being charged:

Greg Oden has classic mug shot after arrest for allegedly punching woman

Greg-Oden-mug-shot

Greg Oden was arrested early Thursday morning in Lawrence, Ind., after he allegedly punched a female. According to the probable cause affidavit obtained by WTHR, a witness claims to have seen the NBA free agent punch a woman in the face.

When officers arrived at the scene, they observed “blood, swelling to the nose, lacerations to the forehead and nose area of the victims face.” The victim was reportedly being uncooperative and claimed she fell but could not recall any details of her supposed tumble.

Oden, who said he dated the victim for two years but that the couple has been broken up for two months, admitted that he hit the woman.

“Things got out of control and I started to go after the victim,” he said. “My relative and witness tried to hold me back, but I swung my arms to move them out of the way, then punched the victim in the face. I was wrong and I know what has to happen.

A relative who lives at the home where the incident took place told police that she woke up when she heard Oden and the victim arguing. She said they argue frequently.

Oden has been booked on a Class A misdemeanor for battery with injury and a Class B misdemeanor for battery. This probably won’t help his chances of signing with an NBA team this offseason.

As for the mug shot — Ohio State must be cringing.

Serena Williams, Caroline Wozniacki and Greg Oden celebrate Heat win

Serena Williams Caroline Wozniacki Greg Oden

If this isn’t about the oddest trio to take a photo together at a Miami Heat game, then I don’t know what is.

Serena Williams and Caroline Wozniacki both attended Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals between the Heat and Pacers in Miami on Friday night and celebrated the series-clinching win by taking a photo with Greg Oden after the game.

Serena and Woz both were knocked out of the French Open early and have plenty of time on their hands to enjoy themselves, and they’re doing just that. Serena is a minority owner of the Heat, while Wozniacki has been a fan of the club for the last few years and even attended games with ex-fiance Rory McIlroy.

I have to say, what Serena is doing to lift the spirits of her heartbroken friend is pretty cool. Not only did she send a positive tweet to Caro last week, but the two hung out before the French Open and obviously are now hanging out together since they’ve lost. Nothing like going to a big-time Heat game and hanging with Serena to help you get over an ex.

Greg Oden: I know I’m one of the biggest busts in NBA history

Greg Oden

Greg Oden has gone from former No. 1 overall pick to NBA benchwarmer, but he is not ashamed of his career arc. In fact, the current Miami Heat reserve seems to have come to terms with his legacy.

Oden’s former Ohio State teammate Mark Titus, who was a walk-on/benchwarmer for the Buckeyes when Oden was a star, wrote up a feature on his buddy for Grantland. Titus aimed to find out how Oden was handling his role as a benchwarmer — the center hasn’t played a minute in the playoffs for the Heat — and asked him if he’s OK hardly seeing the court.

“I know I’m one of the biggest busts in NBA history and I know that it’ll only get worse as Kevin Durant continues doing big things … It’s frustrating that my body can’t do what my mind wants it to do sometimes. But worrying or complaining about it isn’t going to fix anything … I wish the circumstances would let me play more, but I certainly don’t regret coming back, and I don’t regret signing with the Heat,” Oden said.

It’s too bad Oden has such a harsh view of himself. Sure, he may have turned out to be a bust, but that’s not the full story. He was a dominant college player. He would have been a good NBA center. But he just had a terrible body that wouldn’t cooperate with him. Most of what happened to him is out of his control. And he didn’t make himself the No. 1 overall pick; the Blazers did.

But I can’t say any of what’s happened this year with him on the Heat has been a surprise. I told you from the start that I didn’t like the signing and considered it a waste because Oden’s body makes him too unreliable. They’re learning that lesson.

H/T For the Win

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