Greg Oden: Unveiling the Rise and Fall of a Promising NBA Career

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By David

Greg Oden, born January 22, 1988, is a former professional basketball player in the NBA. He was a highly-touted prospect upon entering the league, having played as a dominant center for Ohio State in college. As a skilled athlete standing at 7-0 and 250 pounds, his future seemed bright, with many analysts predicting he would have a long and successful career ahead.

In the 2007 NBA Draft, Oden was selected as the No. 1 overall pick by the Portland Trail Blazers. Unfortunately, his promising career was hindered by a series of injuries and microfracture surgeries, effectively hindering his ability to perform at the highest level. Despite these challenges, he managed to play for the Trail Blazers and later the Miami Heat, putting up commendable statistics of 8.0 points and 6.2 rebounds per game, with a 57.4% field goal percentage.

Throughout his tumultuous career, Greg Oden showcased perseverance and resilience. Although he faced numerous setbacks, he remained dedicated to the sport and continued to make an impact during his time in the NBA.

Early Life and College Career

Gregory Wayne Oden Jr., better known as Greg Oden, was born on January 22, 1988. He discovered his passion for basketball early on and demonstrated immense talent throughout his high school and college careers.

High School Achievements

Oden attended Lawrence North High School in Indianapolis, where he played center. During his time there, he led the team to three consecutive Indiana Class 4A championships from 2004 to 2006. His high school career was nothing short of remarkable, as he never lost a home game.


  • Played center for Lawrence North High School
  • Won three consecutive Indiana Class 4A championships (2004-2006)
  • Never lost a home game during his high school career

Ohio State University and National Championship

After demonstrating exceptional talent at the high school level, Oden enrolled at Ohio State University, where he continued his basketball career.

In his freshman season (2006-2007), Oden helped lead the Ohio State Buckeyes to numerous accomplishments, including:

  • Big Ten Conference regular-season champion
  • Big Ten Conference Men’s Basketball Tournament champion

Additionally, under Oden’s leadership, Ohio State advanced to the NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Championship game. Unfortunately, despite the team’s impressive performance throughout the season, they were ultimately defeated by the University of Florida.

During his college career, Oden maintained an impressive record and consistently demonstrated exceptional skills on the court. The entirety of his time at Ohio State verified his status as a promising future NBA player.

Professional Career

Draft and Portland Trail Blazers

Greg Oden was selected by the Portland Trail Blazers as the #1 overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft. Having never lost a home game throughout his high school and college career, Oden demonstrated great potential as a center.

Injuries and Recovery

Unfortunately, Oden’s professional basketball career was plagued by injuries. He underwent microfracture surgery on his right knee in September 2007, causing him to miss the entire 2007-08 NBA season. Despite setbacks, Oden averaged 8.0 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 0.5 assists per game while maintaining a 57.4% field goal percentage during the time he did play. However, injuries became progressively worse, ultimately playing a role in his departure from the NBA following the 2013-14 season.

Season Team Games Played PPG RPG APG FG%
2008-09 POR 61 8.9 7.0 0.5 56.4
2009-10 POR 21 11.1 8.5 0.9 60.5
2010-11 Did not play due to injuries
2011-12 Did not play due to injuries
2013-14 MIA 23 2.9 2.3 0.3 55.1

Post-NBA Endeavors

After leaving the NBA, Oden explored other professional basketball opportunities and found a new path in the Chinese Basketball Association. In the 2015-16 season, he played for the Jiangsu Dragons. In 2018, he participated in the Big3 Draft and played for the Aliens team. In more recent years, Oden has transitioned to coaching roles, first joining the DC Stealth of The Professional Collegiate League in 2021 as an assistant coach, and later rejoining his alma mater Ohio State Buckeyes’ coaching staff as a graduate assistant.

Legacy and Impact

Perception as a Draft Bust

Greg Oden’s career in the NBA is often overshadowed by his status as one of the biggest draft busts in league history. A former center for the Portland Trail Blazers, he was selected as the No. 1 overall pick in the 2007 NBA draft. Despite the high expectations that followed, Oden’s career was unfortunately plagued by injuries, leading him to play in only 105 NBA games. His tenure in the league was constantly compared to Kevin Durant’s, who was picked right after Oden and went on to have a highly successful career.

Comparisons and Career Reflection

Throughout his career, Greg Oden faced numerous comparisons to Kevin Durant, the No. 2 pick in the 2007 NBA draft. As Oden’s career was marred with injuries and limited playing time, Durant went on to become one of the best players of his generation, receiving multiple accolades and championships. These comparisons only intensified the perception of Oden being a draft bust.

However, it is important to remember that Oden’s impact on basketball goes beyond these comparisons. Before the NBA, he had a successful college career with Ohio State University, where he led the team to Big Ten Conference regular season and tournament championships. Additionally, Oden earned the Big Ten Conference Men’s Basketball Tournament Most Valuable Player award.

Despite his challenging NBA career, Oden has stayed active in the basketball community and has openly discussed his journey, serving as a reminder of the ups and downs that athletes face both on and off the court. His perseverance in the face of adversity demonstrates the unpredictable nature of sports and the importance of resilience in the professional athletic world.

Statistics and Records

NBA Career Averages

Greg Oden, a center, had a relatively brief NBA career due to various injuries. Nevertheless, he managed to put up noteworthy stats during his playing years. On average, he scored 8.0 points per game, recorded 6.2 rebounds per game, and blocked 1.2 shots per game. Furthermore, Oden had an impressive 57.4% field goal percentage throughout his career.

Notable Performances and Awards

In his rookie year, Greg Oden demonstrated his potential as a dominant force in the league. However, he was unable to secure the Rookie of the Year award due to his limited playing time caused by a series of unfortunate injuries. Despite these setbacks, Oden had some remarkable performances during his NBA career:

  • In the 2008-09 season with the Portland Trail Blazers, he scored a career-high 24 points in a single game, showcasing his offensive capabilities.
  • In the 2009-10 season, he managed an impressive feat of blocking 5 shots in a single match, revealing his strong defensive skills.
  • After a long hiatus, Oden returned to the league in the 2013-14 season playing for the Miami Heat, where he contributed to the team’s journey to the NBA Finals.

While Greg Oden’s NBA career saw its share of challenges, his statistics and notable moments on the court highlight the talent and potential he possessed during his playing days.


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