Greg Oden has thanked Miami Heat, currently 9/4 in the Paddy Power NBA Championship outright betting odds, for giving him the chance to get his career back on track after agreeing a two-year contract with the 2012 and 2013 NBA champions.
The 25-year-old center has endured a nightmare time with injuries in the last four years and has not played since the end of 2009 when he injured his left knee. He has played in just 82 games in his entire career, but showed in one game for the Portland Trailblazers against Miami in 2009 that he has the ability to dominate the floor. In that game he scored 13 points as well as having 20 rebounds, four blocks, two assists and a steal in 30 minutes.
“I’m not going to sit here and say I’m 100%,” said Oden, who has had five knee operations during his career. “I’m moving well and I’m feeling good, but I have a lot of work to do. I could be ready to go for the start of the season in October but it’s still a work in progress. My minutes and amount of playing time are going to have to be monitored.”
Oden has reportedly battled depression and alcoholism in recent years and he has confirmed that it has been a very tough period in his life. The New York-born Oden attended Ohio State University and, during his time at college, he was described as a once-in-a-decade player. In June 2007 he was selected by Portland, now 50/1 in the NBA Championship odds, with the number one overall pick but he had to endure surgery on his right knee three months later that forced him to miss the whole of the 2007-08 season.
He managed to play in 61 games in the following campaign, earning the start in 39 of them. The following season, he started in all 21 of the games he played, and he is now determined to resurrect his career with the Heat.
Written by Alex Jackson