No matter how well Greg Oden plays in his fist year with the Miami Heat, he will not be the center of attention in South Beach. The spotlight will be on LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh as they all enter the last year of their contracts. Heat fans aren’t going to care about Oden, because the future of their franchise could be flipped if and when James decides to leave town after the season.
While Oden’s return to the NBA is newsworthy, it’s hardly a bigger story than the best player in the league gunning for his third straight NBA Title.
Oden knows exactly what he’s doing by signing with the Heat. Rather than sign with a rebuilding team like the New Orleans Pelicans, who are going to expect Oden to produce from the get-go, he can now be eased into action with an already-successful Miami roster alongside him. Let’s not forget that Oden hasn’t even played in an NBA game since 2009, — Derrick Rose was a rookie — so there’s bound to be some rust for No. 52.
Besides, the most that Heat coach Eric Spoelstra is going to ask from Oden is 10-15 minutes a night. While the former first-overall draft pick might only be 25 years old, he has had multiple knee surgeries, so he should be treated like an aging veteran and not a player in his prime.