Tag:Greg Oden
Posted on: November 22, 2010 10:12 am

Shootaround 11.22.10: Conspiracy and tragedy

Posted by Matt Moore

  • The Raptors are already considering a trade or buyout of Peja Stojakovic if he doesn't like his role in Toronto. Flipping Peja at the deadline along with the remaining Traded Player Exception they ahve from the Bosh deal could land them a significant chunk of assets if they find a team desperate enough for cap relief in a bad year. It's unlikely that they'll find a superstar out there, unless it's someone like Baron Davis, who if they trade for, they're only hurting themselves.
  • Celtics fans' explanations for losing to the Raptors? The fix is in !

Posted on: November 19, 2010 7:14 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 8:58 pm

Greg Oden microfracture surgery is successful

The Portland Trail Blazers have announced that center Greg Oden has undergone successful microfracture surgery. Posted by Ben Golliver greg-oden On Wednesday night, the Portland Trail Blazers announced that center Greg Oden would need to undergo microfracture knee surgery on his left knee. On Friday, the team announced in a press release that the surgery was a success. 
PORTLAND, Ore. – Portland Trail Blazers center Greg Oden underwent successful microfracture surgery today on his left knee, it was announced by General Manager Rich Cho.
Oden, 22, will miss the remainder of the 2010-11 season.   “We are pleased that Greg's surgery went as planned and we are here to support him fully in his rehabilitation,” said Cho. “I have a great deal of confidence that Greg will work hard and do all that is asked of him in order to get back on the court.” Dr. Richard Steadman performed the surgery with assistance from Trail Blazers orthopedic surgeon Dr. Don Roberts at the Steadman Hawkins Clinic in Vail, Colo.
Oden has a long road ahead of him. His previous microfractury surgery, on his left knee, took place during the summer of 2007 and wiped out his entire 2007-2008 season, although he was able to play in Portland's 2008-2009 season opener against the Los Angeles Lakers.  Given that Oden had surgery last year in the same knee, to insert hardware to repair a broken patella, his rehabilitation will no doubt be undertaken with the greatest care possible.  Yahoo! Sports reports that Oden and his agent, Bill Duffy, are aiming for a nine month recovery timetable, which would make Oden available for the start of training camp next fall.
Posted on: November 19, 2010 6:09 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 8:59 pm

Kevin Durant feels and prays for Greg Oden

Oklahoma City Thunder all star forward Kevin Durant feels for Portland Trail Blazers center Greg Oden. Posted by Ben Golliver

When it was announced earlier this week that Portland Trail Blazers center Greg Oden needed microfracture surgery on his knee and this his 2010-2011 season was over, our own Royce Young took a look at the long relationship between Oden and Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant, who will forever be linked as the first and second overall picks in the 2007 NBA Draft.  Young wrote...
But I can promise you, this news bummed KD out. He didn't want it this way. He didn't want people to come and pat him on the back and say, "See, Portland should've taken you, huh?" under these circumstances. He wanted to earn that. On the court. By outplaying Oden. Not by outlasting him. 
Today, comes word from The Oklahoman that Durant indeed is feeling for Oden and isn't seeking comparisons, just as Young said.
“When I heard about it, I was shocked because he worked so hard to try to get back. To go through some unfortunate circumstances, to be hurt, I felt for him. So I just prayed for him. Hopefully everything goes well with him.”
Unlike the rest of the basketball world, Durant said his thoughts didn’t immediately drift back to draft night 2007 and the unavoidable question of ‘what if?’ when he heard Oden would miss the entire 2010-11 season — the second time in four years Oden will have missed an entire season because of rickety knees. “Not at all,” Durant said. “I just think about his well-being. That’s selfish to think about myself when he’s hurt. Like I said, I feel for the team, for him, for his mom and his family. He’s been through so much as a player, getting hurt in college and then working so hard and playing so well to be the No. 1 pick, and then getting hurt before his rookie season and getting hurt his second year. That’s tough.”
As always, Durant strikes exactly the right tone when it matters most.  Over time, regretful calls for the Blazers to have drafted Durant instead of Oden have mostly subsided in Portland, giving way to a hopelessness in the hands of fate, and a deep sympathy for the physical and emotional pains that Oden has endured and will continue to endure.
Posted on: November 19, 2010 9:05 am

Could Oden wind up in Oklahoma City?

Posted by Royce Young

One of the biggest questions with Greg Oden isn't just about where his basketball career goes from here, but really, where does he go from here. Blazer president Larry Miller already said he would like to see a qualifying offer extended to Oden, but that doesn't guarantee it's happening. And if it doesn't, Oden is an unrestricted free agent.

So who could take a chance on a twice repaired, injury prone big man? Anybody? Come on, someone? Buehler?

As you run through teams in your head that could use a decent big man next season - Charlotte, Houston, Phoenix - you're probably not thinking about a pretty decent fit for Oden. How about teammates with the guy that Oden can't seem to get away from, no matter what he does? How about a move to... Oklahoma City?

Darnell Mayberry of The Oklahoman sees it as a potential scenario.

If you’re Thunder GM Sam Presti, why not go after Greg Oden in free agency next summer? Why not take a chance on the one-time center sensation whose promise has faded because of faulty knees?

It would only be the greatest low-risk, high-reward maneuver we’ve ever seen Presti pull. And there have been plenty, most of them beyond question of the high-reward variety. We saw it with the near signing of C.J. Miles and the eventually rescinded trade for Tyson Chandler. We saw it with the successful signing of Nenad Krstic and the completed trade for Thabo Sefolosha. And, most similarly, we saw it with the flyer Presti took on Shaun Livingston, who nearly four years after a near career-ending knee injury still is navigating his full-time comeback.


And what better place is there for Oden to escape Durant’s shadow than Oklahoma City?  Rather than toil through life as the answer to a trivia question, Oden could redefine his career by joining forces with Durant and perhaps someday compete for championships alongside him.

It’s not like the Thunder couldn’t use even a marginally healthy Oden to aid its quest for a title. Nenad Krstic, Cole Aldrich and Byron Mullens, the Thunder’s current cast of centers, certainly won’t fool anyone into thinking they’re championship caliber. Even if Aldrich reaches his full potential, which could be a Kendrick Perkins clone but probably is closer to Joel Pryzbilla, and Byron Mullens touches his ceiling, which at best is Tyson Chandler but realistically might be closer to Spencer Hawes, the Thunder could use another serviceable big man down the line. Mystery man Tibor Pleiss is waiting in the wings. But the 7-foot-1 German the Thunder selected 31st overall in June appears to be more of a Mullens clone, a player whose strength is more offense-oriented as opposed to rugged defense.

It sounds crazy for a second, but then again, it sounds kind of crazy awesome. Not only would that be a terrific story that would likely spawn 500 feel-good features, but it makes sense for the Thunder. 

Mayberry's points out that while Oklahoma City has some nice frontcourt depth currently, it's not long-term depth and there's still some uncertainty there with Cole Aldrich, Byron Mullens and even Jeff Green's future. It could work well for Oden since the depth could allow him less stress and fewer minutes as he makes his way back.

Is this something that will happen? Probably not. It does make a good amount of sense. But sort of like Oden's first four seasons in the league, it probably won't have much of a chance to get off the ground.

Posted on: November 18, 2010 8:32 pm

Blazers president Miller wants to keep Oden

Posted by Royce Young

A lot of things were affected by Greg Oden's surgery that will end his season. Not only his career and the Blazers' season, but also his financial situation. As one of the many from the draft class of 2007 that didn't receive an extension, Oden was looking at just becoming a restricted free agent.

That's somewhat unique for a No. 1 overall pick, but as a player that's dealt with injuries, it really was going to be an opportunity for Oden to possibly show people how much he's worth.

But with the surgery, it really put all that in jeopardy. With so much uncertainty surrounding Oden, it led many to wonder if the Blazers would even extend a qualifying offer to Oden to make him a restricted free agent. But Trail Blazer president Larry Miller says that he would like to.
“If Greg Oden plays up to his potential he is worth that,” Miller said of the $8.8 million qualifying offer. “We will see where (rehabilitation) things are at that level. But at this point, I don’t see us not giving the offer if Greg is doing the things we need to see him doing to get back on the court.

That’s how I feel. If he is doing those things, we want to keep Greg around. I don’t feel like I’m ready to give up on Greg Oden. I don’t think anybody in our organization is ready.”
In order for Oden to even become a restricted free agent, the Blazers must extend him an $8.8 million qualifying offer. Essentially that means that if nobody offers Oden a contract, he will automatically accept the $8.8 million deal. But if the Blazers don't extend that qualifying offer, Oden is unrestricted.

It's a pretty bold statement to make, but it really shows the faith the Blazer organization has in Oden. They want the opportunity to keep him and they aren't giving up on him. And why would they? Yes, Oden has had some insanely difficult years, but he's just 22 and can absolutely recover and still have a productive NBA career.
Category: NBA
Posted on: November 18, 2010 3:23 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 8:54 pm

Greg Oden microfracture: the day after

Portland Trail Blazers head coach and all star guard Brandon Roy discuss the team's future after yesterday's announcement that center Greg Odenoden-gregwould undergo microfracture surgery on his left knee, ending his 2010-2011 NBA season before it began. Posted by Ben Golliver

Portland, Oregon, is known for two things these days: vicious rainstorms and season-ending injuries. Both struck Wednesday night, when perhaps the ugliest weather of 2010 preceded the worst possible news for Portland Trail Blazers fans: center Greg Oden's 2010-2011 NBA season was done before it started, due to a microfracture surgery on his left knee that will be performed on Friday.  The season has started for the Blazers as a slow ramp up mentally. With Oden and fellow center Joel Przybilla working their way back from knee surgeries last year, and all star guard Brandon Roy limited by a bothersome left knee as well, Portland's mantra has been mostly about biding its time until later in the season and making a serious playoff push once everyone was back healthy. The Oden news, of course, changes all of that, and biding time has given way to battening down the hatches, for Oden, for the team, for the coaching staff and for the organization. Portland coach Nate McMillan tells CBSSports.com that his mesage to Oden this year was the same as it was last year. "Mentally, you know it’s a challenge for him to continue to stay positive and to try to work himself back. He’s still a young man that has a future in basketball. It’s devastating to go through this, four out of the last five years, some type of injury. But you have to rebuild, 'man up,' as we say, and continue to work to get yourself on the floor."  In the meantime, McMillan said he fully expects critics and pundits to write off his team, much like they did last year when Portland dealt with numerous injuries. "Of course people are going to write us off, we’ve lost these guys, both Brandon and Greg -- Greg for the season, Brandon is out for a few games. People going to write you off. For us it’s a mental challenge to stay focused, stay tight, because I believe we can win some games if we go out and we’re together." The problem for McMillan -- who thrives as an underdog, has proven he can manage effectively through and seemed almost giddy Thursday at the notion that people would underestimate his team again -- is that he doesn't know who he will turn to for help shouldering the mental burden. Asked twice for names of players he expected to step up and guide the team mentally, McMillan admitted it was too early to tell. "We just found out about this last night, and we’ll see. That [mental leadership] is what I’m looking for. You’re going to have to have some guys to step up, both some of your veterans as well as your young guys, and be productive in a situation like this. We’ll see. That’s where we are at right now." Part of McMillan's hesitancy seems to stem from Roy's uncertain health. Roy has always been a quiet leader, but his steady production has pulled Portland through in the past. Roy suffered a knee injury in a Nov. 13 game against the New Orleans Hornets, and isn't expected back on the court until Nov. 26. It's difficult to be an emotional leader while wearing street clothes, as Roy was at Portland's shootaround Thursday. Roy struck an optimistic tone when talking with reports, though, saying Oden's injury isn't crippling for the franchise's goals of competing for an NBA title. "I don’t think it’s lost. I don’t think it’s lost. It’s adversity and something that we have to deal with. We wish it wasn’t like this, but it is."  He repeated McMillan's us-against-the-world take, saying the team's resolve remains strong despite external voices predicting failure. "The team seems good. People outside the team are a little concerned, but these guys dealt with a lot of it last year. We’re so focused, we play so many games, it’s hard to sit back and think about the outside things that we’ve had to deal with. The guys are focused and I’m just trying to do my best to keep those guys positive." Perhaps the best news for Blazers fans: Roy also sounded more upbeat when talking about the health of his own knee and the mood of the team. "It’s something that a number of doctors have told me that I can play with and still play at a high level ... My spirits have been picked up a lot. It’s just something I’ve got to deal with. I’m a lot more confident dealing with it now than I was a week ago. That’s expected. Anytime you get injured you’re always a little concerned. I’m feeling better about it and just trying to get back on the court." Roy told CBSSports.com that he had spoken with Oden briefly on Wednesday. "His spirits were down. As expected. He’ll bounce back from it. Not in a day or two, but in time, he’ll bounce back. Just for him as a person, I told him to forget basketball. We care about you as a friend and somebody that I’ve been close to for the last few years. He’ll be alright. Words aren’t going to cheer him up today, but in time it will make him feel better." Asked about Oden's future in a Trail Blazers uniform, McMillan chose his words carefully. "We expect him to recover from the surgery and I’m sure we’ll look at the situation and make the best decision for the organization. Greg is still a Blazer, when he comes out of rehab we’re going to try to and get him ready to play basketball ... I don’t have a crystal ball but we do expect him to recover from this surgery. They’re not telling us this is career-ending, we are hearing that he can come back from this and possibly be just as strong." The question, though, is when will that return take place, and can the Blazers wait?  The Portland rain let up on Thursday morning and the mood in the practice facility was sunnier than expected. The team has been without Oden so often and for such long stretches, the morning after devastating news felt like the cruelest thing of all: business as usual.
Posted on: November 18, 2010 10:33 am
Edited on: January 6, 2011 8:06 pm

Game Changer 11.18.10: The Greg Oden Debacle

Wrapping up and expanding on the announcement that Greg Oden will have microfracture surgery for the second time, ending his 2010-2011 season and possibly his career. Posted by Matt Moore

Each game is made up of elements which help formulate the outcome. Monday through Friday, we'll bring you the elements from the night before's games in our own specialized version of the game recaps. It's not everything that happened, but it's an insight into what lead to the results you'll see in the box scores. This is the Game Changer.  


In lieu of our regular game changer, we're going to provid you with a wrap up of the Oden news. We'll have more on Chris Bosh's big night in Miami later on.

Eye on Oden

Here's a debriefing on what's going on with Oden, as seen throughout our coverage last night.

As you've no doubt heard by now, Greg Oden will undergo microfracture surgery to repair his left knee. He'll miss the entirety of the 2010-2011 season, and then you have to wonder about recovery time beyond that given the wear and tear on him just from surgeries. Ken Berger spoke with executives around the league and it's widely thought that the Blazers won't even make a qualifying offer to him this summer to keep him in restricted free agency, meaning he would be a free agent.

We covered the press conference live from the arena last night and brought you both video and audio of the press conference. Oden's injuries go far beyond just the left knee and we gave you a comprehensive look at his injury history . Royce Young provided some context for Oden's experience in contrast to the rising star of Kevin Durant, and we examined how Oden's trek back to the league compares with some injury-ridden players who came before him.

Ben Golliver went in-depth on Oden's knee and the situation the Portland trainers are now trying to deal with as they begin to come under severe scrutiny once again.

And you can be sure we'll have more coverage as this unfortunate series of events unfolds. There's a genuine sense of regret and sadness around the NBA blogosphere today. We all wanted to see the next great center. Instead we got the next great disappointment, for Oden and for us.

Around the Web

It took John Canzano to put up the tombstone on the Greg Oden era last night, in what had to be a record.

If you're a sadist, or, if you live in Portland and are a masochist, you can read the reaction from Blazers fans to the news first here in letters to Oden , and here on the Blazersedge reaction thread .

At Hardwood Paroxysm, Zach Harper touches on how this isn't an actual tragedy, but it is a basketball tragedy . (Admission: I'm the editor of Hardwood Paroxysm, but I felt this piece was so good it warranted a link.)

Noam Schiller asks us to remember the Blazers.

Here's an FAQ on the injury with Kevin Pelton of Basketball Prospectus.

Here's another timeline of this particular injury .

Posted on: November 18, 2010 4:01 am
Edited on: August 14, 2011 8:52 pm

Greg Oden: 2 non-incident microfracture surgeries

Portland Trail Blazers center Greg Oden will undergo his second microfracture knee surgery, and Portland's trainer says neither was caused by a specific incident. Posted by Ben Golliver

If there's a maddening element to the tragic story of Portland Trail Blazers center Greg Oden, the 2007 NBA draft No. 1 overall pick, a giant man among giant men, it's that the two injuries that could prove to be the undoing of his NBA career both happened amid uncertain circumstances.

During the summer of 2007, shortly after being drafted, Oden underwent microfracture surgery on his right knee. No official, specific incident was determined to have caused his knee to need that surgery, which is a major procedure. Wednesday night, the Blazers announced that Oden would undergo a microfracture surgery on his left knee, but again could not pinpoint a specific incident or impact which necessitated the surgery.

Speaking in front of a press conference full of reporters in the Rose Garden media room, Blazers trainer Jay Jensen did his best to hold back tears as he described the circumstances leading up to the decision to have Oden undergo microfracture surgery on Friday. After clarifying that this microfracture injury will repair an “articular cartilage defect” that is separate from the fractured left patella Oden suffered last December, in a game against the Houston Rockets, Jensen described the days and weeks prior to the decision to pursue surgery.

Until quite recently, Jensen said, everything had been progressing relatively smoothly.  "Two weeks ago today, Greg was seen by Dr. Roberts and he had a normal exam. He had no fluid in his knee at all. He had a normal exam. We were solely concentrated on continuing to get him stronger and increasing his confidence, his ability to play on the court.”

Jensen noted that Oden had been “experiencing some discomfort based on the hardware that was in his patella,” and that Oden travelled with the Blazers down to Los Angeles for a Sunday night date with the Lakers. Before the game, Jensen told CBSSports.com that Oden went through a normal pre-game workout with fellow rehabbing center Joel Przybilla. “It was a typical workout where, before the game, they go out, Joel and Greg, go out and do particular routine of low post moves, dunks, setting screens, rebounding drills, it was one that was hard. I remember [Portland’s team doctor] Dr. Roberts calling me, because it was on the air on our broadcast, telling me that [Oden] looked really good, explosive. He thought his workout was really good. Greg didn’t really complain about it, that anything that was unusual.”

Jensen continued: “It was nothing unusual that happened after his workout that he mentioned to me. He didn’t mention anything to me until we were here in Portland for [former Blazers assistant coach Maurice Lucas’s] funeral on Monday.”
From there, Oden experienced “moderate swelling” which led Portland’s doctors to drain his knee and then return to Los Angeles for a consultation with orthopedic surgeon Dr. Neal ElAttrache. That examination did not raise any concerns, but shortly after the examination Oden began to experience swelling once again.

“I looked at his knee and it was significantly increased,” Jensen said.”It was at that time that I mentioned it to Dr. Roberts and he agreed that it was time to get an MRI on Greg’s knee.” That MRI revealed the defect in Oden’s articular cartilage. “Like a nine iron taking a divot out of the grass, it’s a hole in that part of the cartilage,” Jensen said, underscoring the severity.

That series of events – the timing of the swelling and the discomfort -- led Jensen to conclude, in hindsight, that the workout in Los Angeles was likely he “trigger” for the defect that will necessitate the microfracture surgery. “The way that things progressed, I think that there was certainly something in his workout in L.A. that triggered this. I don’t know what it was specifically.”

Jensen said that the circumstances around the two microfracture situations were eerily similar. “It’s the same part of the bone that was damaged in his right knee [in 2007]. Even to the point where his right knee, we didn’t know how that happened either when that happened. It was an insidious kind of onset with the swelling. He didn’t know how he did it. He woke up one day and there was a moderate amount of effusion of swelling on his knee.”

The two incidents together – and the long road in between -- left Jensen openly emotional and looking back to the 2007 pre-draft process for an explanation that will never be there. “We did a series of two MRIs on both of his knees before the draft and there was nothing. To quote somebody, they were ‘pristine’ MRIs for his knees. Both instances they were found after a normal MRI was done.”

Pristine has given way to cataclysmic, and the force of the latest MRI struck Jensen, Roberts and Oden with maximum force. “We sat there and it was like we got kicked in the stomach. We all felt like we had just been told that somebody close to us had died. It felt that way. We didn’t know what to say. We were shocked.”

Oden, his doctors and trainers, the Trail Blazers organization and the city of Portland are all left shell-shocked, with no clear explanation for why its franchise center has now suffered two knee injuries that led to major surgeries without a crystal clear cause-and-effect.

Oden’s future hangs in the balance, and no one --no one -- knows why.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com