All this talk of Greg Oden playing this NBA preseason needs to stop. Let’s put it this way, the idea alone is ludicrous, and the thought of the 7-footer risking his health for meaningless minutes boggles my mind.
It is as simple as this, Oden will not play in the preseason.
The Miami Heat did not sign the former Ohio State Buckeye only to risk it all before the title defense begins. Pat Riley did not give the center a guaranteed contract so he could blow out his knees again and collect a pay check while eating potato chips on the couch.
Obviously the defending champions are expecting to get something out of Oden, but there is no timeline.
Oden has not played in the Association since 2009 and has only begun participating in limited practices. His knees are as predictable and trustworthy as the U.S. Government, and the team has already reported knee soreness and swelling.
Erik Spoelstra and Riley knew there would be setbacks, and Oden’s rehabilitation has been described as a series of “trials and errors.” The big man has undergone numerous knee surgeries since 2007 and has only played a grand total of 82 games.
Miami is going to take it slow and steady with the former No. 1 pick. Any talk of Oden making his Heat debut during the preseason is insane. Essentially, Oden is being reintroduced to the game one step at a time. Riley and Spoelstra do not want to make the wrong decision and play him too soon.
Slow and steady is, and will continue to be, the approach for Oden. For all you preseason hopefuls, calm down, breath and use your head! Oden still has a long road before he sees any playing time.