Greg Oden is about to miss another season with his second microfracture surgery, the team has announced. Another injury to his knees, something that has to make you question if we will ever see the injury plagued former No. 1 overall pick on the court again. The Basketball Gods have it in for this man, sadly.
The team also announced that Brandon Roy will be out two games.
Oden missed his rookie season due to microfracture surgery on his right knee. Last December he injured his left patella and missed the rest of the season. It is that left knee that now will have the microfracture surgery (which helps stimulate cartilage growth).
Since being drafted, Oden has played in 82 of a possible 256 regular-season games. When he plays, Oden has has been good, he just hasn’t played much.
Oden had had some mild workouts recently, usually before games, in hopes of getting back on the court. He had a more strenuous one on Sunday, which was followed by fluid buildup in the knee that had to be drained, team doctors told the media. Out of that came more tests and finding the need for the surgery. There was not one specific incident the injury was attributed to.
The Trail Blazers did not sign Oden to an extension, meaning he will be a free agent come July 1 (he is the first No. 1 overall pick not to be offered a deal after his rookie contract since Kwame Brown). It will be interesting to see what kind of interest is out there for him. Other players, such as Zydrunas Ilgouskas, had knee issues that looked like they would end a career but were able to bounce back and be productive. Oden, however, will apparently never be productive on the level expected of a big man taken in front of Kevin Durant.
There’s this overplayed angle talked about by some fans and pundits suggesting the Warriors just got lucky last season — for example, they faced a banged-up Rockets’ team in the conference finals then a Cavaliers’ squad without two of their big three through the Finals. Then there was Clippers’ coach Doc Rivers saying the Warriors were lucky not having to play the Clippers or Spurs in the postseason.
The Warriors are sick of hearing they were lucky.
Friday Klay Thompson fired back at Rivers, via CSNBayArea.com.
– “I wanted to play the Clippers last year, but they couldn’t handle their business.”
– “If we got lucky, look at our record against them last year (Warriors 3-1). I’m pretty sure we smacked them.”
– “Didn’t they lose to the Rockets? Exactly. So haha. That just makes me laugh. That’s funny. Weren’t they up 3-1 too?”
– “Yeah, tell them I said that. That’s funny. That’s funny.”
Warriors big man Andrew Bogut phrased it differently.
If you think the Warriors just won because they were lucky — you are dead wrong.
They were the best team in the NBA last season, bar none. They won 67 regular season games in a tough conference, then beat everyone in their path to win a title. Did they catch some breaks along the way, particularly with health? You bet. Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, and Kobe Bryant didn’t win a title without catching some breaks along the way, either. Nobody does. Luck plays a role, but it was not the primary factor in why the Warriors are champs.
All this talk of them getting lucky is fuel for the fire they needed not to be complacent this season. Way to give the defending champs bulletin board material, Doc.
Dwyane Wade has earned his status as an elder statesman, the E.F. Hutton kind of veteran who speaks and everybody listens.
Rookie Justise Winslow is listening.
Winslow (who should have gone higher in this draft) is a perfect fit for the Heat and he’s going to be part of their rotation off the bench from the start of the season (along with Josh McRoberts and Amare Stoudemire). Wade has already fully stepped into the mentor role with Winslow working with him on post moves, reports Jason Lieser at the Palm Beach Post.
“As his career develops, hopefully he’s able to do multiple things on the floor, but right now there’s gonna be certain things (Erik Spoelstra) wants him to do, and some of those things I’m good at,” Wade said. “I’m just passing down knowledge to someone who I think could be good at things that I have strengths at. It’s gonna take a while, but if he figures it out at 21, he’s ahead of the curve. I figured it out at like 27.
“All of us are where we’re at because someone before us helped us. They helped by letting us sit there and watch film with them or having conversations with them. If he’s a student of it and he really wants to know, I’m a pretty decent teacher in certain areas.”
This is what you want out of a veteran leader and some of the young teams out there have done an excellent job adding this kind of mentor — Kevin Garnett in Minnesota may be the best example. Someone who can pass on his wisdom and show the team’s young players how to be a professional and win in the NBA.
It’s a little different for Winslow, he and the Heat are more in a win-now mode, but he should be able to contribute to that.