Quiet by nature and often kept out of the media spotlight, Greg Oden who is still yet to get the call up from Erik Spoelstra this week gave a wonderful interview with former college teammate Mark Titus for Grantland. In a candid interview Oden, as we are still forever reminded he came second to 2014 MVP Kevin Durant in the 2007 draft, admitted he is well aware he’s "one of the biggest busts in NBA history" and he now feels he's finally comfortable about where he is in his career.
Grantland Excerpt link:
I asked him straight-up: "If this is the final chapter of the Greg Oden story — if you're destined to be a benchwarmer for the rest of your career — are you OK with that? Will you be satisfied with your legacy?"
"I'm over all of that," Greg told me. "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."
Originally dubbed as one of the most fascinating comebacks in NBA, Oden’s time with the Heat overall has been a successful one and although his progress has encountered a few setbacks, he has shown he has the potential to upset the opposition. In the 26 times Oden has taken the court for Miami he’s averaged 2.9 points and 2.3 rebounds in 9.2 minutes.
On whether Oden felt ashamed he was seen as more of a bench warmer than an impact player, Oden gave a positive response.
"Are you kidding? I was a professional rehab/workout guy for four years. I wasn't even a basketball player — just a guy who got paid to exercise. I spent four years trying to get back on an NBA court. Now that I've done that, it's not fair to myself to complain about minutes. I knew coming into this that I wasn't going to be the player I once was. I just wanted to get healthy and then help out any way I could."
As the playoffs continue with the Heat possibly facing off against the Indiana Pacers in the Eastern Conference, questions will again be asked if Oden is the man who can disrupt Roy Hibbert, who has recently struggled to find the form which helped breakdown the Heat's offense last year.
Whatever the coaching decision ends up being, Oden has let us into his mindset, showing us he’s a man who is all about perspective, and is a man still with the strong belief he can still do more on the court.