Greg Oden hasn’t played NBA minutes since December 5, 2009 — a span of 1,418 days.
(That figure is via Ben Golliver at SI.com, who personally lived through the Oden nightmare in Portland, so we’ll take his word for it.)
Oden was picked up by the Miami Heat this summer, on a one-year minimum deal in the off chance he may be able to help the team against the likes of Roy Hibbert and the Indiana Pacers several months from now.
It’s early, and Oden isn’t going to be pressed into any premature game situations. But as a reward for his hard work during training camp, Oden was given some real minutes in preseason action against New Orleans on Wednesday — and he delivered immediately, the first time he touched the ball just seconds into his stint.
It would be beyond foolish to try to count on Oden’s health at this extremely early stage, but it’s obvious that if he is somehow 100 percent healthy once the postseason begins, you can go ahead and pencil Miami in for their fourth straight trip to the Finals.
DeMarcus Cousins says Mavericks’ rumored interest flatters him, but he loves Kings
The Mavericks’ long-rumored interest in DeMarcus Cousins took its most direct public turn before the season, when Dallas signed Cousins’ brother, Jaleel Cousins. Jaleel is now on the Mavericks’ D-League affiliate, and I bet he will remain there as DeMarcus approaches 2018 free agency.
So, DeMarcus Cousins, what do you think about the Mavericks’ long-rumored interest in acquiring you?
“It’s flattering,” Cousins told me, with a laugh, after the Kings’ Wednesday shootaround at AAC. Then, turning serious, he added of the Mavericks, “I respect them.”
“But,” I said, “I’ve also heard that you like it in Sacramento.”
“No,” Cousins corrected, “I love Sacramento.”
Cousins is getting good at this, toeing the line between appreciating another team’s interest and expressing his satisfaction with the Kings.
And give Cousins credit. He keeps producing at a star level for a team that hasn’t provided him with the proper support. Sacramento again appears headed toward the lottery, even as Cousins averages 29-10.
Questions remain, though: How much of Cousins’ attitude is him trying to make the best of an inescapable situation, and will expanded options in the summer of 2018 test his loyalty?
LeBron James dunks, struts past camerapeople and toward crowd, spooks fan (video)
NEW YORK (AP) — Derrick Rose is missing the New York Knicks’ game against Cleveland because of lower back pain.
Rose left the Knicks’ victory over Miami on Tuesday in the third quarter with back spasms. Coach Jeff Hornacek says Rose still felt sore on Wednesday when he came in and met with team doctors, so they sent him for an MRI exam to make sure there was no structural damage.
Rose is averaging 16.7 points and this is the first game he’s missed this season.