Trap of the Day: Greg Oden

It’s official, Greg Oden–with his ceaseless knee injury woes–is the city of Portland’s worst nightmare: Sam Bowie, part II. Before we say one final goodbye to the Trailblazers’ basketball star that never quite scintillated, here’s the Greg Oden Trap!

Just months ago, the Trailblazers received the heart-shattering news that its franchise’s guiding light, NBA All-Star Brandon Roy would be forced to retire due to degenerative knees. Now “Rip City” must also come to grips with the fact that its former number-one draft pick Oden will likely be forced down a similar path after it was announced the center would need his fifth significant knee surgery since 2007.

Imminent retirement? Oden begs to differ. The seven-footer insists he has no plans to throw in the towel despite undergoing a second microfracture procedure on the same left knee that sidelined him indefinitely less than two years ago. As a die-hard Blazer fan myself, I will be rooting for an Oden resurrgence, however the time has finally come to distance myself from any optimism that Oden’s comeback will occur in a Blazer uniform. He’s gone, folks.

With Portland’s recent (tentative) signing of center Joel Pryzbilla, it’s fair to assume that Oden will be the player to get waived from the Blazers’ roster in order to make room for the acquisition of the, “Vanilla Gorilla.” Oden will become free to sign with any team in next season’s loaded free agency pool, although it is highly doubtful he’ll be ready to return to the court when NBA’s opening night tips off near Halloween. The recovery rate for a microfracture surgery typically takes longer than a calendar year, so Oden’s appearance at all next season appears to be in jeopardy. With Oden’s mammoth frame and precarious health issues, the NBA world may have seen the last of the the gentle giant from Ohio State University.

My vibrant red number-52 jersey once hung proudly in my closet. It was a miracle the Blazers even had the chance to draft him in the first place. The miracle that was supposed to be a blessing rapidly turned into a curse. After a myriad of non-contact knee injuries, the jersey was demoted to the bottom shelf of my dresser. Still, the Blazers organization refused to declare regret drafting him. Tomorrow, my Oden jersey will make its way to Goodwill to be donated–I can’t harbor the curse and the ghost of Sam Bowie any longer.


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