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.
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 ?
Courtesy of Associated Press and Yahoo Sports
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.
In order to continue reading this Associated Press article just click unto the link shown
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’.
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.
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 ?
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
Nate McMillan (College – North Carolina State)
LEAD ASSISTANT COACH
Dean Demopoulos (College – West Chester)
Monty Williams (College – Notre Dame)
Maurice Lucas (College – Marquette)
Joe Prunty (College – Cal Poly San Luis Obispo)
Bob Medina (College – UNLV)
Jay Jensen (College – Loma Linda)
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