NBA: Kevin Durant sticks by Greg Oden despite ‘bust’ admission | Inquirer Sports

NBA: Kevin Durant sticks by Greg Oden despite ‘bust’ admission

/ 12:59 PM November 15, 2016

Greg Oden of the Portland Trail Blazers watches from the bench as his teammates take on the Chicago Bulls at the United Center on November 1, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bulls defeated the Trail Blazers 110-98. —JONATHAN DANIEL/Getty Images/AFP

Greg Oden. JONATHAN DANIEL/Getty Images/AFP

Greg Oden admitted over the weekend what most NBA fans seem to believe all along.

The once heavily sough-after center, whose career never really took off due to a long list of extensive injuries, was picked first overall by the Portland Trailblazers during the 2007 NBA draft.


“I’ll be remembered as the biggest bust in NBA history, but I can’t do anything about that,” Oden told ESPN.


The 28-years-old former Ohio State standout only managed to suit up for 105 games throughout his brief career. His averages of eight points and 6.2 rebounds on 57.4 percent shooting was a complete letdown for many fans who believed he was poised for superstardom.

“Don’t get me wrong. If I was healthy, I would love to continue playing, but I’m not healthy,” he said.

Despite his honest confession, Golden State Warriors’ superstar Kevin Durant dismissed Oden’s self-proclaimed “bust” status.

“Nonsense. That’s nonsense,” Durant, who was drafted No. 2 right behind Oden in 2007, adamantly told ESPN in a separate report.

“In order for you to be a bust, you have to actually play and show people that you progressed as a player. He didn’t get a chance to,” the perennial All-Star explained.

Both were expected to go first and second in the draft after playing exceptionally in one year of college, but Oden emerged as the clear No. 1 pick due to his rare combination of immense size and skill.


Durant went on to become one of the premier superstars in the league today, and he believes Oden could have reached the same status if he was healthy enough to play.

“He got injured and that was unfortunate,” the one-time league MVP said. “But when he did play, he was a force.”

The pair’s fortunes couldn’t have been more different nine years later—with Durant currently chasing that elusive first NBA title with a new team and Oden opting to enroll as a sophomore at Ohio State University, taking classes in the sports industry program.

Still, Durant believes he and Oden will always be intertwined by history.

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“I think we’re always going to be linked together as far as our draft class,” Durant said. “We were (one of) the first real one-and-done (classes). He would have come out of high school; I probably would have done the same, but we had to go to college and we were one-and-done. I think that played a huge part in it, and just the fact that two freshmen went back-to-back one and two picks, that was a huge part. So we’re always going to be linked together no matter what.”  Khristian Ibarrola

TAGS: 2007 NBA draft, bust, Greg Oden, Kevin Durant, NBA

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