Kevin Durant, the leading scorer in the NBA, the 2014 MVP, the new cover boy for NBA 2K15 and the list goes on. Durant is now an iconic figure in the NBA and he’s only continuing to grow but at one point there was a player who was more coveted than he was. Durant was drafted by the Seattle Supersonics with the No. 2 pick in the 2007 NBA Draft, going at No. 1 was Greg Oden chosen by the Portland Trailblazers.
Fast forward to today as we watch Durant continue to rise, the guy chosen before him rides the bench and battles injuries as his body continues to fail him. It’s been far from an easy ride for Oden and in an interview with Grantland he was candid, open and honest about his place in NBA history and the difficult journey.
“I know I’m one of the biggest busts in NBA history and I know that it’ll only get worse as Kevin Durant continues doing big things … It’s frustrating that my body can’t do what my mind wants it to do sometimes. But worrying or complaining about it isn’t going to fix anything … I wish the circumstances would let me play more, but I certainly don’t regret coming back, and I don’t regret signing with the Heat.”
It appears Oden has accepted his role and what his life has become. He even joked about getting paid to workout. Prior to signing with the Miami Heat, the Trailblazers continued to keep him on board hoping he’d be able to contribute somehow.
“Are you kidding? I was a professional rehab/workout guy for four years. I wasn’t even a basketball player — just a guy who got paid to exercise. I spent four years trying to get back on an NBA court. Now that I’ve done that, it’s not fair to myself to complain about minutes. I knew coming into this that I wasn’t going to be the player I once was. I just wanted to get healthy and then help out any way I could.”
Oden was lucky enough to get signed by the two-time defending champion Miami Heat who could be on their way to a third ring after sweeping the Bobcats and going up 2-0 over the Brooklyn Nets. Though Oden hasn’t touched the court yet, he could as the playoffs progress. Whether he does play or not, he’s just happy if the Heat win.
“It doesn’t say how much you played on your championship ring.”