In a pretty quick development on Wednesday night, the Miami Heat activated center Greg Oden and had him dressed out for their game against the Washington Wizards. With the Heat down big in the second quarter, Oden checked into the game, his first time touching the floor for an NBA regular season game since Dec. 5, 2009.
As if seeing Oden healthy and able to come into a game wasn’t special enough after all of his trials and injuries, Oden made the moment pretty spectacular. On his first touch of the game, an offensive rebound, Oden rose up and threw down a powerful two-handed jam.
Oden played only eight minutes on the night, finishing with six points and two rebounds and the Heat tried to come back but fell by a count of 114-97, but that doesn’t take anything away from the value of the moment with Oden back in the league and back producing.
Possibly the best sign for Oden and the Heat came on Thursday, though, when Oden told the media that he had “no swelling” in his knee. He did only participate in shooting drills at practice and his status is uncertain for Friday, but the signs seem to be positive as of right now.
The timing of Oden’s return is quite interesting considering the current goings-on around the league. With Andrew Bynum currently floating around waiting to be signed, you have to wonder if the Heat are getting a look at Oden right now to see if signing Bynum would be worth their time. Regardless if that’s the case or not, though, it’s good to see Oden back in the NBA and on the floor for Miami.