Greg Oden is going to be a project in Miami.
First part of that is just getting him healthy, and the Heat have focused on rehab and getting him in the best shape possible before he steps on the court.
But the second part is what happens on the court — he hasn’t played in an NBA game in nearly four years. There’s rust and there is relearning old habits (and a few new ones).
Heat legend Alonzo Mourning — a player development specialist with the Heat — said he looks forward to working with Oden, he told Ira Winderman at the Sun Sentinel.
“Extremely excited, extremely excited,” he said by phone, “because I understand the potential that he has….
“I think we all, as an organization, are looking forward to working with him, developing him, so that he can be a part of this organization for years to come….
“I know that if healthy, the impact that he can have on this franchise,” Mourning said. “Just him being 25 years old, I feel that the longevity of the possibility of him playing, that longevity will continue to stimulate a winning opportunity with the organization.”
Let’s get him out there and see him play a game before we talk longevity.
That said, in a limited role the potential is clear. There are plenty of people around the league rooting for Oden (even though he is on the Heat). It’s a bit of “there but for the grace of God” syndrome — his injuries were not some kind of personal flaws but rather unlucky breaks for a guy widely liked. People want to see him get a measure of redemption.
That includes Mourning, who can help some firsthand.