We had a discussion on The Bob and Rob Show Tuesday as to whether or not it is fair to classify an athlete as a “bust’ because their career was derailed by injury.
The reason the topic came up is because of the news that Portland Trail Blazers center Greg Oden had knee surgery and was ruled out for the season.
This was the fifth surgery for Oden who, over the course of his pro career, has had procedures done on both knees.
Since being taken by Portland as the top pick in the 2007 NBA Draft, Oden has played a total of 82 games. In five years, he has played the equivalent of one regular season.
Making matters worse for Oden, the Blazers and their fans is the fact that ’07’s second pick, Kevin Durant, has blossomed into one of the league’s superstars.
Oden has been compared to former Blazer Sam Bowie who was picked ahead of Michael Jordan in the 1984 draft.
Bowie, like Oden, struggled with injuries throughout his career. Even though he never played 82 games in any given season, Bowie did manage to stay employed in the NBA for 10 years.
By all accounts, Oden is a really good guy and you can never have enough of those to root for. He has handled adversity with dignity and class.
The fifth-year player from Ohio State has said he will not retire but, his time in Portland has probably come to an end.
Is it fair to call Oden a bust? Based on his draft status, I guess it is.
Unfortunately, we can’t judge him as a player. He just hasn’t been on the floor enough to do so.
On the bright side, Oden has managed to make $23 million as a pro.
So all is not bad.