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Thursday, October 21st, 2010 at 9:00 am  |  31 responses

Greg Oden: ‘I know I Can Play Well in This League’

by Marcel Mutoni / @marcel_mutoni

For a man who has suffered so many depressing professional setbacks, Greg Oden has never lacked for confidence. He approaches his basketball career with a glass half-full outlook no matter how many times he’s knocked down.

This is going to be an especially critical season for Oden; aside from needing to prove his many doubters wrong, Greg’s contract situation looms above everything (he’s eligible for an extension, but the Portland Trailblazers are understandably taking their sweet time before committing to him financially in a major way.)

Oden tells Yahoo! that he will overcome the injuries, and contribute enough on the court to earn that big payday:

“I’m not worried about people believing in me. I believe in myself,” he said. “If you’re going to doubt me, doubt me. But I know what I can do, and I know I’m going to improve, and I know that I can bring a lot to this team.”

Oden won’t give a specific timetable for when he thinks he’ll return, but Blazers coach Nate McMillan is optimistic it will be before the end of December. “I do a little bit more each day,” Oden said. “I keep on pushing it. But I’m not going to put myself out there until I can go and do the things I need to do.” Said [Brandon] Roy: “He’s closer than I think people think.”

He’s eligible for an extension, but it’s clear the Blazers want to use the full season to better assess his health before deciding to commit frontline money to him. Oden will be a restricted free agent at the end of the season, which will still allow the Blazers to match any offer he receives.“I’m really just trying to concentrate on getting my knee back,” Oden said. “I would love for it to happen, but I got to prove it. I got to earn it.”

It’s make or break time for the big fella.

Blazers fans have to be encouraged by his positive attitude; it would be nice if on-court results began to reflect it.

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  • don

    i think i read this a couple of days ago.. is slam recycling articles?

  • http://www.triplejunearthed.com/dacre Dacre

    no don. actually this was covered this time last season.

  • tracemc

    he should play a full season and then say ” i knew i could play well in this league”..

  • RobbieJay

    ahhh greg oden. you and your dreams.

  • dmitry of nj

    fantasy-heads,

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    PW: banana

    Live TONIGHT 9:30pm EST.

    dmitry

  • Nashty

    I know he can too, but will he?

  • Ali

    Greg stop giving interview and just put in the work man! Who are you trying to convince, yourself or the fans? Just get in the gym and on the pracice court and put in some serious work!

  • abaci

    ill believe it when i see it

  • T-Money

    greg, we know you can play well in this league, we’ve seen it already. double-double with 2 blocks in limited minutes. the question is not IF you can play but whether you WILL play, get it?

  • dma

    lol @dacre

  • http://yahoo.com eboyhater

    If Greg Oden plays good the Blazers are sure to be first seed in the west

  • KB8toSG8

    Its not a matter of whether he plays well in the L or not…..its more of a IF he can play in the L with his soft knees….and lol@dacre.

  • unrel

    it’s not about your level of play, big fella.. it’s your level of health..

  • Jumper

    LOL AT DACRE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • EJ

    He can’t playt well for a number 1 pick.

  • http://slamonline BossTerry

    Co-sign Abaci.. Alot of these (non) stories are being run into the ground.. Just a few days ago G.O-”I think I can be an all star” was posted.. Lets just quit talking about him, and wait and see what he does when healthy.. Same with the Melo stories- “Knicks still want Melo” again, this isnt news..

  • http://slamonline BossTerry

    @ Eboyhater- I like your thinking, but I doubt it.. I think a 2 or 3 seed is a realistic goal.

  • http://slamonline BossTerry

    Hopefully through alot of hard work in phyiscal therapy, Greg can come back sooner then expected, and be on top of his game once again.. Yep, that would be JUST WRIGHT..

  • underdog

    I wish Greg proved he’s not a bust.

  • jls

    Get him some forrest gump braces already

  • the nerve

    jab dat n**ga in da throat neck

  • http://www.need4sheed.com Tarzan Cooper

    Greg is never going too be fully healthy. He wont play until february. Hope hes willing to take the minimum next summer, or go to greece.

  • t-sizzle

    Just shut up and play Greg.. SHUT UP.. PLAY!

  • t-sizzle

    On a gentler note, Oden should be allowed by the league to play with hockey pads on. And also duct-taped joints..

  • Danny_W_UK

    Good luck Big man, see whoever it was that sorted Grant Hill……

  • flash

    get yourself traded to phoenix. they work miracles out there maybe it’ll help you and your career

  • http://www.slamonline.com/online/media/slam-tv/2010/08/video-michael-jordans-love-of-the-game/ notblack

    He’s bust its says so in the bible.

  • Michael

    i feel for you homie but actions speak louder then words. You wouldn’t be the first or the best player to have a career ruined by injuries.

  • ripslam

    Oden needs to shut the hell up. He has proven nothing thus far, and shouldn’t be saying anything until he can put up consistent numbers without averaging 5 fouls a game and getting injured midseason.

  • http://google c_cantrell

    im pretty sure iv heard this exact same crap for the last 3 years

  • Tyquez

    pretty good but needs improvement on the offns if he could dunk like dwight howard it would be hard to beat portland /they sill good

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