Greg Oden was the first overall draft pick for the Portland Trail Blazers in the 2007 NBA draft out of Ohio State. He was a much hyped high school player out of Indianapolis and led the Buckeyes to the 2007 NCAA Championship games, where they lost to Florida, as a freshman.
He left after one year and entered the NBA draft, where the first pick was between he and current Oklahoma City Thunder superstar Kevin Durant. The Blazers selected Oden - they already had several players similar to Durant's model.
Yesterday, the Blazers announced that Oden will need knee surgery and will be out for the season.
He missed the entire 2007-08 season, played 61 games in 2008-09, played in 21 games in 2009-10 and hasn't played a game this year. So in four season, Greg Oden has played 82 total games.
The word "Bust" has already been thrown around and it isn't fair. A bust is someone who wasn't as talented as thought, who was lazy and didn't work hard or who didn't live up to the hype. And you can argue that Oden hasn't lived up to the hype.
But give Oden a few more years before we label him as a bust. Has Oden lived up to the number one pick? Absolutely not. Should he have been a top ten draft pick? Probably not. But that is easy to say three years after the fact when we see how things play out.
Greg Oden is 22 years old. And while he will more than likely never attain the superstar status that was once attached to him, he will come back next season and be 23 years old. Last time I checked, especially in professional sports, 23 is still young.
Is it Greg Oden's fault that his knees have broken down? No. It seems like this is all too common with players over 7 feet. Bill Walton and Yao Ming are two players that come to mind.
Before we label Greg Oden as a bust, let's see how the next four or five years play out. Hopefully, one day he will be healthy enough to play a full NBA season. He hasn't live up to the potential of three years ago, but he still has a long way to go.