How Could You Not Want Miami Heat's Greg Oden to Succeed?

By Shane Phillips
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

It is normal for humans to feel remorse or sadness for someone dealing with struggles or facing an uphill battle. With the magnify glass we put athletes and celebrities under, it is normal to feel remorse when they go through a struggle and experience joy when they succeed despite their status not being relateable to most.

Greg Oden is no exception. The Miami Heat center has seen the highest of highs and faced the lowest of lows. Once the no. 1 overall pick of the Portland Trailblazers in 2007, he was the next big thing in basketball. A young man with a face that looks as if it has been weathered by many years, Oden’s dreams and aspirations never had a chance to take shape.

Oden’s rookie season was over before it began. Microfracture knee surgery sidelined the big man before he could even record a minute on the court. The second shot at his rookie season showed signs of promise, but was still plagued by injuries.

The 2009-2010 season would be the disappointing end to a career that never had an opportunity. A fractured patella sidelined Oden shortly after the season began, and he would not see the hardwood again.

We are nearly four years removed from Oden’s disappearance from the league. Setback after setback, surgery after surgery, never-ending rehab, depression and a whole lot of “what could have been”s later, Oden has yet another opportunity at professional basketball.

Can anyone root against this guy?

Considering everything that this mild-mannered giant has been through, you can’t help but cheer for Oden and hope he succeeds.

It would be easy to give up after the third microfracture surgery and become a used car salesman, but Oden never gave up and kept trying. No matter how many surgeries his knees endured, no matter how many setbacks he faced in rehab and no matter how bad the depression got, Oden refused to give in. Luckily for him, Pat Riley likes to take a risk every now and then.

With training camp underway, so is Oden’s relentless comeback campaign. I know that my fingers are crossed for the big guy and I bet that yours are too.

Shane Phillips is a Miami Heat Writer for Follow him on Twitter @Smphil01, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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