When the Trailblazers selected Greg Oden over Kevin Durant in the 2007 NBA Draft, he had a big role to fill. He played just 105 career games.
Durant, meanwhile, is a seven-time NBA All-Star and won the 2014 MVP Award. He has led the league in scoring four times since his rookie season and signed a two-year, $54.3 million deal with the Golden State Warriors over the offseason.
Oden played in China last season but has recognized that, due to his injuries, his playing days are over. He is an assistant coach at Ohio State, where he played for one collegiate season.
Here’s what he told Jeff Goodman on Outside the Lines in a recent interview (via ESPN):
“I’ll be remembered as the biggest bust in NBA history. But I can’t do nothing about that … Don’t get me wrong. If I was healthy, I would love to continue playing, but I’m not healthy.”
He echoed a similar sentiment to Grantland in 2014, when he told Mark Titus that he is no longer worried about his legacy. Oden called himself a “bust” in that interview as well.
Many have compared Oden to Sam Bowie, who the Trailblazers infamously selected before Michael Jordan in the 1984 NBA Draft.
But even Bowie played 511 games in his career and averaged over 10 points with 7.5 rebounds per game. Oden played started just 66 total games. He had as many microfracture knee surgeries as he did NBA seasons.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Oden during this tumultuous time of self-realization.