A Simple Twist Of Fate …..

There are times when one has to wonder what fate has in store for us all ? In all walks of life many of us expect to do great things in our chosen endeavors. Sometimes we’re able to live up to them and other times we’re able not to.

It’d now appear that fate can also lead to a cruel blow and when it happens it can be for the most innocuous of reasons. Simply put , ‘a simple twist of fate’ can either lead to good or it can be exceedingly bad. And the reason I say this , is because of the unfortunate turn of events that have befallen Portland Trailblazers’ center, Greg Oden.

Greg Oden  is  carried  to  a  gurney  having  just  injured  himself  when  colliding  with   the  Houston  Rockets'  Aaron Brooks  during  an  NBA game.   It is believed    that the  player  will be  lost  to the  team  for the   remainder of the  season.  And  it now places   his professional  career  in  jeopardy as this  would  be   the second  time  that  he  would  have  to  undergo  micro-fracture surgery  from   tearing ligaments and cracking his patella ,in  his  left  knee .    The  Trailblazers   would  go  on to  defeat the  Houston  Rockets  90-89  in  the  game  played  at the  Rose  Garden  Arena in  Portland  Oregon.   picture appears  courtesy  of  NBAE/ Getty Images/  Richard Cross ..................
Greg Oden is carried to a gurney having just injured himself when colliding with the Houston Rockets' Aaron Brooks during an NBA game. It is believed that the player will be lost to the team for the remainder of the season. And it now places his professional career in jeopardy as this would be the second time that he would have to undergo micro-fracture surgery from tearing ligaments in his left knee . The Trailblazers would go on to defeat the Houston Rockets 90-89 in the game played at the Rose Garden Arena in Portland Oregon. picture appears courtesy of NBAE/ Getty Images/ Richard Cross ..................

Over the last few years , Oden is a player who has come to exemplify hard work and the willingness to learn his craft well. Last season,even though he was played somewhat sparingly by Trailblazers’ management. This year it was felt that once again fully fit he could provide the team with some much needed offensive presence and also a great deal from the defensive side of things. I’ve come across a piece from an individual who has his own idea, as to who the top 10 centers in the NBA are at present. Interestingly enough, he has Oden in his top ten but fails to have the hybrid center power forward presence of Tim Duncan or Amare’ Stoudemire, there. In essence, the writings of this individual are about as valid any piece of legislation or agenda now being put forth by the US Members of Congress. And we all know how those set of buffoons like to think so highly of themselves now, don’t we ?

Portland ,Or -December 5th : Brandon Roy (7) of the Portland Trail Blazers takes a shot over Trevor Ariza (1) of the Houston Rockets during a game on December 5, 2009 at the Rose Garden Arena in Portland, Oregon. picture  appears courtesy of NBAE/ Getty Images/ Sam Forencich  ............
Portland ,Or -December 5th : Brandon Roy (7) of the Portland Trail Blazers takes a shot over Trevor Ariza (1) of the Houston Rockets during a game on December 5, 2009 at the Rose Garden Arena in Portland, Oregon. picture appears courtesy of NBAE/ Getty Images/ Sam Forencich ............

Courtesy of Associated Press and Yahoo Sports

Blazers’ Oden expected to miss the rest of the season

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP)—Portland center Greg Oden(notes) will likely miss the rest of the season after fracturing his left knee cap Saturday night in the Trail Blazers’ victory over the Houston Rockets.

“He’s a strong kid,” said general manager Kevin Pritchard, visibly shaken by the latest injury to befall the 7-foot center. “He’s going to bounce back from this.”

Oden dropped to the floor clutching his left knee and grimacing after colliding with a driving Aaron Brooks(notes) midway through the first quarter.

Oden was almost immediately surrounded by trainers and physicians. The crowd at the Rose Garden stood and chanted “Oden! Oden!”

The game was stopped for some 7 minutes. Finally, Oden was gently moved to a stretcher and wheeled from the court. He underwent an MRI shortly thereafter.

The Blazers said Oden will need surgery. A timetable for his return was not immediately set.

“I’m obviously disappointed having worked so hard to get to where I was. This is a setback but I’ll be back. It’s in God’s hands now,” Oden said in a statement released by the team. “I want to thank the fans, my teammates and everyone in the Blazers family for all of their good thoughts.”

Oden, the No. 1 pick in the 2007 NBA draft out of Ohio State, has been plagued by injures his entire NBA career.

The 7-footer missed rookie season after undergoing micro-fracture surgery on his right knee. Last season, Oden sat out six games after injuring his right foot in the season opener against the Lakers, then missed 14 games after the All-Star break with a bone chip in his left knee. He finished the season averaging 8.9 points and 7 rebounds.

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Steve Blake, point guard of the Portland Trailblazers looks to evade the defensive presence of the Houston Rockets’ Aaron Brooks. picture appears courtesy of NBAE/Getty Images/ Sam Forencich …..

The loss of Oden for the season and quite possibly longer, could put the player’s NBA career in jeopardy ,altogether. This would only have been Greg Oden’s second year as such , of playing fully competitive basketball in the NBA. Having entered the 2007 NBA draft , he was taken as the number one overall pick by the Portland Trailblazers. General Manager,Kevin Pritchard felt that Oden would be part of the numerous number of pieces needed to make this team competitive not only within the Northwest Division but the entire Western Conference, as well as the rest of the NBA.

The loss of Oden to the team and its significance can’t be fully quantified. But the real cause for concern here, will be whether or not the player can in fact resume his NBA career. Oden suffered an injury to his left knee in a collision during an NBA game played between the Portland Trailblazers and their conference rivals, the Houston Rockets. At the time,the collision between Oden and the Rockets’ Aaron Brooks was thought to be an innocuous one. But once the player laid on court for several minutes clinging his knee, only then was it apparent that the injury was far more serious than first thought. For Oden and his teammates this was once again, ‘deja-vu’.

 Greg Oden (52) of the Portland Trail Blazers lays on the court with a left knee injury surrounded by his teammates during a game against the Houston Rockets on December 5, 2009 at the Rose Garden Arena in Portland, Oregon.  picture appears  courtesy of  NBAE/ Getty Images/ Cameron  Browne  .........
Greg Oden (52) of the Portland Trail Blazers lays on the court with a left knee injury surrounded by his teammates during a game against the Houston Rockets on December 5, 2009 at the Rose Garden Arena in Portland, Oregon. picture appears courtesy of NBAE/ Getty Images/ Cameron Browne .........

In what was to be Oden’s first season in the NBA , in 2007. Greg Oden, having been taken number one overall in the 2007 NBA Draft by the Trailblazers,was forced to miss the entire NBA regular season. The player had to undergo micro-fracture surgery to both knees for torn knee ligaments and a cracked patella to his left knee.In 2008 , having made something of what was thought to be a full recovery, the player injured himself and then once again re-injured his left knee. His season was curtailed and so too was any ambitions that the Blazers might have had at postseason glory. Albeit, that they did make the playoffs , their inexperience showed , as they bowed out gallantly. All was not lost in terms of the team’s play. As signs were shown that coach, Nate McMillan had a team that could contend in the future. And it was built on the premise of the play of such players as , Brandon Roy , LaMarcus Aldridge, Rudy Fernandez, Steve Blake and Martell Webster.

And with Oden now being lost for the season and quite possibly with his NBA career in jeopardy. The real threat here is what it might to do this young man’s psyche. He has yet to play an entire regular season in the NBA injury free. And now with this recurring injury and possible nightmare about to unfold. There’s no telling what the organization is prepared to do with regard to the player.
The risks , disadvantages and advantages as the case maybe concerning the Portland Trailblazers still seeking the services of the player will no doubt rest upon Oden’s resolve to undergo surgery then recuperate and make a return to the the basketball court at some time in the future. Timelines being what they are, in all likelihood , his earliest return would be at the start of the 2010-11 season. And though that appears to be a long way off, it might just be the only way that the team is liable to see the return of Greg Oden to an NBA court.

With the loss of Oden for the season, the Portland Trailblazers can avail themselves of the services of seasoned veteran, Joel Pryzbilla. But that would portend upon Pryzbilla, being able to put forth the sort of effort that the fans of the Trailblazers had come to see of Oden , thus far in the season. At times he was a ‘one man wrecking crew’, crashing the boards and showing both his defensive prowess but also his growing offensive presence and repertoire, as a player. That’s something, that I seriously doubt that Pryzbilla can really offer the team ! So, it may well be left to the likes of Brandon Roy LaMarcus Aldridge, Rudy Fernandez to really pick up their game, in order to make up for the loss of Oden.

Greg Oden (52) of the Portland Trail Blazers lays with a left knee injury and is helped by Keith Jones the athletic trainer of the Houston Rockets during a game on December 5, 2009 at the Rose Garden Arena in Portland, Oregon.  picture appears courtesy  of  NBAE/Getty Images/ Cameron Browne  .......
Greg Oden (52) of the Portland Trail Blazers lays with a left knee injury and is helped by Keith Jones the athletic trainer of the Houston Rockets during a game on December 5, 2009 at the Rose Garden Arena in Portland, Oregon. picture appears courtesy of NBAE/Getty Images/ Cameron Browne .......

I believe that the team will do fine, even with the loss of Oden ! But I can’t help but wonder how much better that they’d do, had they not lost him for the rest of the season. This merely was a simple twist of fate but a twist nonetheless, that may well end Greg Oden’s career, when it’s all said and done. Do you feel that the player will be able to make a successful return to the NBA and resume his career at some time in the future ?

Portland Trailblazers 2009-10 roster

NUM PLAYER POS HT WT DOB FROM YRS
12 LaMarcus Aldridge F 6-11 240 07/19/1985 Texas 3
88 Nicolas Batum F 6-8 200 12/14/1988 Lisieux, France 1
4 Jerryd Bayless G 6-3 200 08/20/1988 Arizona 1
2 Steve Blake G 6-3 172 02/26/1980 Maryland 6
33 Dante Cunningham F 6-8 230 04/22/1987 Villanova R
5 Rudy Fernandez G 6-6 185 04/04/1985 Palma de Mallorca, Spain 1
6 Juwan Howard F 6-9 253 02/07/1973 Michigan 15
24 Andre Miller G 6-2 200 03/19/1976 Utah 10
8 Patrick Mills G 6-0 185 08/11/1988 St. Mary’s (CA) R
52 Greg Oden C 7-0 285 01/22/1988 Ohio State 1
25 Travis Outlaw F 6-9 207 09/18/1984 Starkville HS (MS) 6
31 Jeff Pendergraph F 6-9 240 04/29/1987 Arizona State R
10 Joel Przybilla C 7-1 245 10/10/1979 Minnesota 9
7 Brandon Roy G-F 6-6 211 07/23/1984 Washington 3
23 Martell Webster F 6-7 235 12/04/1986 Seattle Prep HS (WA) 4

HEAD COACH
Nate McMillan (College – North Carolina State)

LEAD ASSISTANT COACH
Dean Demopoulos (College – West Chester)

ASSISTANT COACHES
Monty Williams (College – Notre Dame)
Maurice Lucas (College – Marquette)
Joe Prunty (College – Cal Poly San Luis Obispo)

STRENGTH-AND-CONDITIONING COACH
Bob Medina (College – UNLV)

ATHLETIC TRAINER
Jay Jensen (College – Loma Linda)

ASSISTANT TRAINER
Geoff Clark (College – Oregon State)

Northwest Division Standings of the Western Conference

Team W L PCT GB CONF DIV HOME ROAD L 10 STREAK
Denver2 15 5 0.750 0.0 7-2 3-1 9-1 6-4 8-2 W 3
Portland5 13 8 0.619 2.5 9-5 4-2 8-4 5-4 5-5 W 1
Utah6 11 8 0.579 3.5 5-6 1-3 8-3 3-5 7-3 L 1
Oklahoma City 10 9 0.526 4.5 4-7 1-1 5-5 5-4 5-5 L 1
Minnesota 3 17 0.150 12.0 2-14 2-4 2-9 1-8 2-8 W 1

Author: tophatal ...........

Brit ex-pat living C Florida . Now working with a consultancy firm in the field of corporate governance on the international front , concerning economic policies . Also covering the area of finance , banking, international banking. An MBA graduate from the (LSE) and UCL (London) , M&A (mergers & acquisitions), economics , risk management & assessment . Martial artist (tae-kwondo, karate, savate , muy-thai) & an vowed sports ' fan , sports' junkie. Served in armed forces British ... Royal Marines . Taught unarmed combat to members of the military and also competed in tournaments prior to joining the Royal Marines . Also an avid motorcycle junkie & free running enthusiast . Tech geek and computer repair technician. Entertainment: Musical tastes _ reggae, r&b, soul, hip-hop, rap , jazz, classical. Film genres , Preferably thrillers , crime dramas Hobbies ..... reading biographies & anything by John Grisham Just a lil' something to make me feel comfortable ! Tophatal

4 thoughts on “A Simple Twist Of Fate …..”

  1. Honestly, I just wish that KD went to Portland and Oden went to the Thunder. That would’ve made me much happier. There are a few guys that come back from microfracture surgery, but it doesn’t look like he’ll be one of them!

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    1. chappy 81

      The Blazers made the right choice but unfortunately I do believe that Oden and the Buckeyes weren’t forthcoming as to his overall health. In college he’d suffered continuously with various niggling ailments. His knees , shoulders and back .

      Durant is ‘lighting it up’ for the Thunder but I don’t know that he’ll be around when his contract comes up. They’ve not surrounded him with the prerequisite talent to make them a contender in the West. And above all their owner Clay Bennett can’t be trusted to tell the truth at all. He and David Stern ‘stiffed’ the city of Seattle . Albeit that the city government and Howard Schultz were too damn naive to begin with !

      Alan Parkins

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    1. Chris Humpherys

      It’s not that ‘the pick’ wasn’t a prudent one . But in fact that one of the problems might’ve been that the Buckeyes weren’t all that forthcoming as to the ongoing health issues that Oden had when he played for them. And that comes down to Blazers’ GM, Kevin Pritchard not using due diligence in not thoroughly checking the player out. Medicals records can be led to read whatever the maker wants it to say.

      As to Oden’s immediate future , that at present doesn’t appear to look so bright, at this juncture. A third reconstructive surgery procedure and with another year of rehabilitation and recuperation. There’s no guarantee that he’ll be able to successfully resume his NBA career. Once your knees go once , a second or third time makes it even weaker, not stronger. And the ‘wear and tear’ of the game does tend to take its toll on one’s physicality and body. And Oden is no exception to the rule , at all !

      Alan Parkins

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