Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Agony of Greg Oden

Greg Oden, the 7'0" center of the Portland Trail Blazers and the 2007 No. 1 overall pick, is done for the season-- AGAIN!

Oden suffered a devastating knee injury on Dec. 5 in a home game against the Houston Rockets. Oden broke his kneecap and had to be wheeled out of the Rose Garden in a stretcher. Ouch!

Coincidentally, it was Oden's 82nd career game. In other words, since being selected No. 1 overall 3 seasons ago, Oden has finally played the equivalent of a full NBA season. In 2007-2008 he played a total of 0 games; in 2008-2009 he played in 61 games and this season in 21 games. Since he's expected not to return after undergoing knee surgery (again)-- it means he's played a season's worth of basketball in 3 seasons.

Of course its not Oden's fault, but he has got to be the unluckiest player in recent memory. I mean, he missed his entire rookie year after having surgery on his right knee. Last season he missed 21 games due to injuries in his right foot and left knee. And in this young season he breaks his left kneecap. Gees, poor guy.

On the other hand, Oklahoma City Thunder small forward Kevin Durant, the No. 2 overall pick has had a solid 3 seasons so far. Durant's scoring average has gone up every year (20.3, 25.3, 28.1) so far in his young career. Recently Durant became the second youngest player (behind Lebron James) in NBA history to score 4000 points. To put it in perspective, Oden has scored only 773 points. Durant is averaging 23.3 PPG for his career; Oden 9.4 PPG. And of course, since Durant was the No. 2 pick, he makes a little over half a million less than Oden. But that's the gamble of the NBA Draft.

It'll be interesting to see how Oden responds after so many knee surgeries. Its hard to imagine that he will be the force everyone expected him to be on draft day when he was selected No. 1 overall.

Or will he just be the answer to a future trivia question when Kevin Durant blossoms and continues his Hall of Fame-caliber career.

Photos courtesy of the AP
Stats courtesy of


  1. I remember a lot of people predicted that Oden would have a hard time staying healthy based on his past before the draft, but they probably never imagined this much difficulty. I hope Blake Griffin doesn't share his fate.

    Oden's knee looks caved in in that picture, kind of disgusting.

  2. Great point on Blake Griffin. I too hope he has a better fate.