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Greg Oden's Knees Make One Last Push

Nicole Kim |
October 15, 2013 | 12:47 p.m. PDT

Staff Writer

James is optimistic about his new teammate's progress (kingjames/Instagram)
James is optimistic about his new teammate's progress (kingjames/Instagram)
I'm sure that I speak for a good majority of NBA fans when I say that every mention of Greg Oden is often followed by a sigh and rolled eyes. "His knees are done for good." "There's no way he can ever play another NBA game." "Why are we still talking about him?"

But after signing a one-year contract with the Miami Heat this past August, Oden just completed his first full practice in over three years yesterday. "It felt good to get out there and get some up-and-down," Oden said after Monday's five-on-five scrimmage.

Both head coach Spoelstra and the rest of Oden's teammates agree that they're impressed with his progress so far considering the unfortunate circumstances. James said, "For him to be able to stick with it and be here, we went five on five, it's a testament to him keeping his composure, him believing in himself, his family believing in him. He's back where he belongs, and that's in the NBA."

SEE MORE: Derrick Rose Stuns In Long-Awaited Return

For those of you who, like me, have grown exhausted with trying to keep up with Oden's status in the league over the past six seasons, here's a quick rundown of his career so far:

'07-'08: As the #1 overall pick for the Portland Trail Blazers, Oden was immediately deemed the sure pick for Rookie of the Year in his class but ended up missing the entire season after undergoing a microfracture surgery on his right knee.

'08-'09: Played 61 games but chipped his left kneecap during a game against the Warriors and sat out for three weeks.

'09-'10: Played 21 games but missed the rest of the season because of surgery on his left kneecap.

'10-'11: Didn't play all season as he underwent another microfracture surgery on his left knee this time.

'11-'12: Missed another season due to arthroscopic surgery on his right knee and second microfracture surgery on his left knee and was thus dropped by the Blazers.

'12-'13: Sat out for the season to focus on rehab.

'13-'14: Signs one-year deal with the Heat.

So over what was supposed to be his six-year career, Oden played a total of 82 games - the equivalent of one full season. It really is amazing how resilient Oden's knees are considering how many times they've gone under the knife. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if details of his surgeries revealed that they're actually robotic.

The Miami Heat travel to D.C. tonight to play against the Wizards for another preseason exhibition, but it's highly unlikely that Oden will see any playing time.

Reach Staff Writer Nicole Kim here.



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