Remember Greg Oden? If you’re like a lot of basketball fans, you’d probably prefer not to. Not because Oden is a distasteful personality — quite the contrary. It’s just depressing to think about how such a promising player’s career was completely derailed by repeated injuries.
Oden hasn’t played a game since 2009, and he played precious few in the years prior. He had a third microfracture surgery on his knees nearly a year ago. One microfracture surgery is often enough to end an athlete’s career; three of them is just sadistic.
Oden’s not ready to completely close the book on the possibility of playing in the NBA again, though. ESPN reports that he plans to attempt yet another comeback — but probably not this season. Due to his many surgeries, he won’t even be able to get back on a court until fall of 2013.
Several teams are said to be interested in acquiring Oden’s services. If he can manage to stay on the court for 15 or even 20 minutes a game, he could be a difference-maker. ESPN reports that teams want to sign him to a multi-year deal (with plenty of out clauses, surely) before the end of this season, so he can rehab with team doctors.
One of the teams said to be interested is the Miami Heat. Imagine a world where LeBron James and a somewhat healthy Greg Oden are on the court together. It could be magic. Don’t get your hopes up too high, though. Chances are, Oden’s return will just end in more sadness. The basketball gods just don’t seem to want this guy to succeed.