The Heat's on for Oden: Getting Back on the Court
Today was supposed to be a big day for Greg Oden.
The hard luck center was attending his first practice in over four years ... Great.
The Heat's first practices are in beautiful Paradise Island Bahamas ... Great.
He was running the court again ... Great.
But by the time his teammates took the floor, Oden was sitting on the sidelines with ice on his knees. Yes, I said knees ... Not so great.
While his new teammates were scrimmaging and refining their defense, Oden was not. He wasn't even close, unless you call sitting in a chair with ice on your knees 'practice.'
Oden's knees remain huge question marks. No one knows how or if he'll be effective. After three micro-fracture procedures, doctors have all but given up on him. In fact, some doctors advised him to retire, but Oden is determined to play. He's dedicated himself to a comeback.
The former top draft pick of the Portland Trail Blazers came out of Ohio State to much fanfare, but his body just didn't cooperate. His knees have seen more scalpels than a cadaver, and while he thinks all the surgeries are behind him, there's certainly no guarantee of that.
The Heat tossed him a one-year bone -- a $900,000 bone, to be sure -- and don't seem to be in any hurry to rush his progress. Having said that, Oden's timeline to get back to the NBA in a meaningful way could only be described as glacial. They look at him as a situational player, which is a far cry from the stardom that was predicted for him on draft day.
But it's a start, and it offers hope. For now, that's more than Oden has had in years. He'll take it.