Buyers remorse (again) for Portland? As we pointed out earlier today, the Nets got a steal with Brook Lopez at the tenth overall pick in the 2008 draft, while the Trail Blazers have had the opposite experience with Greg Oden. The same franchise that took Sam Bowie ahead of Michael Jordan and struggled through Bill Walton’s health issues has struck out thus far with Oden, the first overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft.
Oden missed all of the 2007-08 season after having knee surgery. He played 61 games last season and then went down again 21 games into this year. In total, Oden has played just 1816 minutes in 82 NBA games. He may still just be 22 years old, but his body is wearing down like someone of the age Oden is always joked to be. He says he will be back next year and, unlike Lopez, he may even be a luxury to the playoff bound Trail Blazers.
Greg Oden joined Wheels at Work on 95.5 the Game in Portland to discuss his rehab, timetable to return, movies, next season, and his personality.
On if he can come back for the playoffs:
“I’m sorry everybody, but I don’t think I’ll be playing this year. It’s going to take a little bit more time than expected to get ready and also get in shape. And with the mental part, it’s just being able to go out there and believe that I can compete with the best of the best. That won’t be in the next couple of weeks. It’s going to take some time, but I will be ready for next season.”
On the stress of rehab this time around:
“I thought it was going to be a lot easier, coming in and thinking that I had been through it before and that I know how to handle it. The biggest thing that the doctors tell me is that, having one knee and now having the other knee, I am not even going to trust my legs at all. I got to get over that hump. Just trying to get back to that is something I am struggling with, but I’m working on it.”
On what he’s looking forward to most next season:
“Definitely, being around my teammates and just playing. Secretly inside, I want to prove all those doubters wrong. That’s the number one thing that irks me right there. Coming back and being around my teammates. Being on a plane and travel with them. And seeing different cities. I get a free trip to different cities all the time. Who wouldn’t want that? I didn’t get a chance to go to Miami this year – the good weather and just being around the guys and getting close with them. I would definitely like to do that and that’s something that I miss
On his favorite movies:
“I saw Hot Tub Time Machine. It was alright. There were some funny parts to me. A lot of people might not like that, but I liked it. (Host: Favorite all-time?) Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back and American Pie 2 are my favorites.”
And on his personality:
“I’ve always been the type of person, when you first meet somebody, that you don’t want to give off the wrong impression. For me, I like to be quiet and just listen. Everybody loves somebody who is going to listen to them. That’s what I love to do. After you get to know me, I have a pretty big humor. I watch a lot of movies and I would say I have that dry humor… I do have a bad side. I am so nice, so I usually hold it in and it all comes out at one time. Kind of like when I get dunked on. Like when Joakim Noah and Derrick Rose got me, I think I ended up with 18 and 20 in that game.”