FanPost

Does Greg Oden need to "man up?"

Reasonable people can differ about whether GO has game, or whether he's injury-prone.  (For the record, my view is that he obviously has plenty of game, and that the sample size is still far too small to conclude he's injury-prone.)  But now I'm seeing a lot of posts and comments to the effect that GO lacks toughness or desire: that he's unwilling to "man up" and play thru an injury.  Sorry, but this is NOT something that a reasonable person would say. 

Folks making those "manly" statements might have--or should have--noticed that everytime GO has gotten hurt, going back to his college days, he's tried to play through the injury--even to his detriment. 

E.g., back in college, GO came back from his wrist injury early and played essentially one-handed for the remainder of the season.  Some felt that, as a result, the wrist never did heal properly.  During Greg's rookie year in the NBA, he grew impatient with the endless rehab and snuck out (against doctor's orders) and played at 24-Hour Fitness.  Then this season, when GO injured his ankle on opening night, he stubbornly played on, dragging his leg up and down the court until it became obvious that he was a liability out there.  Same thing recently after Greg chipped his patella in a collision with Cory Maggette.  He gimped it around the court until halftime, refusing to listen to what his body was telling him.

Hello!  Anyone with eyes can see that this guy is DYING to play, and it clearly kills him when he has to sit out.  How anyone could suggest he's dogging it mystifies me.  No wonder some athletes feel that fans just see them as pieces of meat. 

If Greg Oden ultimately elects to play out his rookie contract and go help another team win championships, Blazer fans will be getting what they deserve.  No doubt they'll while away the playoff season every year writing angry fanposts about how the Blazers blew it by letting their franchise center get away.  But sports historians will write about how the city of Portland looked the ultimate gift horse--the 5.3% miracle of the '07 draft--squarely in the mouth.

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