If you were trying to bring along Greg Oden right now, you would be incredibly cautious. If not you’d be incredibly foolish.
General Manager Rich Cho and the rest of the Portland Trail Blazers brain trust are not foolish. They are not letting anyone talk to the public about where things stand. They are working hard to dampen expectations.
Which could also be taken as protecting him after setbacks. You can decide after reading what Cho told the Oregonian.
“I don’t really want to put any time frame on it,” Blazers general manager Rich Cho said, regarding Oden’s return. “I don’t want any expectations out there. And I don’t want to put any pressure on Greg. The last thing I want him to do is come back earlier (than he should) because people are expecting it.”
On Wednesday, Cho offered some details, saying Oden’s rehab had progressed to feature jogging, defensive slides, spot shooting, light jumping, jump-roping and work in the pool. He added that Oden, who had his latest medical checkup two weeks ago, has trimmed his weight down to the “low 280s,” approaching where the team would like him to play next season.
The Blazers are bringing him along slowly. As they should. They need to bring him along slowly and get him right before throwing him out to the wolves of NBA competition.
And not just right physically, but right mentally. Dave at Blazers Edge made a great point a couple days ago — after years of just rehabbing and not playing, the mental hurdles of playing a fearless game and finding a rhythm on the court may be more difficult than the physical struggles he will face.
With so much focus in recent weeks being on NBA players speaking out on social issues, it’s worth remembering that Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has been one of the most vocal athletes in America on these things for decades. The Hall of Fame and all-time leading scorer in NBA history addressed the Democratic National Convention on Thursday evening, urging voters to vote for Hillary Clinton in November, and opened his remarks by introducing himself as Michael Jordan, because “Donald Trump couldn’t tell the difference.”
You can watch the video of his speech below:
In the weeks since Kevin Durant announced he was signing with the Golden State Warriors, we have yet to hear Russell Westbrook speak on his former teammate’s decision. This week, ESPN.com’s Royce Young indicated in a podcast interview that Durant was telling Westbrook and others in the days leading up to his decision that he was coming back to Oklahoma City. He later walked back his report, saying he misspoke. On Thursday, Durant himself told The Vertical‘s Shams Charania that he never said any such thing, or misled Westbrook or anyone else about his intentions.
“It’s false,” Durant told The Vertical on Thursday. “I didn’t say that – words about me telling Russell or Nick that I would stay or leave never came out of my mouth. We met as teammates, but no promises came out of it. In this day and age, I can’t control anything people claim out there. Someone can go out and say something random right now, and people will believe it.
“I never told Russell or Nick [Collison], ‘All right, guys, I’m coming back to the Thunder’ – and then a week later, I decide not to. Never happened. I don’t operate like that. I heard people say that story, but it’s not the truth.”
So that settles that.
CHICAGO (AP) The Chicago Bulls have signed guard Spencer Dinwiddie.
The Bulls acquired Dinwiddie in a trade with Detroit last month and waived him three weeks ago. He spent two years with the Pistons and appeared in 12 games last season, averaging 4.8 points and 13.3 minutes.
The Bulls announced the move Thursday.