I've been on crutches twice in my life. In High School I partially tore my achilles, and spent about 5 weeks hobbling around. No surgery was required.
About a year ago I came down on someone's foot playing basketball, heard a "pop" and had to hop off the court. My ankle swelled up like a grapefruit, but luckily it was just a sprain. In a couple of days I could manage getting around in a boot.
My sophmore year in High School I broke my collar bone playing basketball, too. It was painful, and it was probably 6 weeks before I could tie my shoes, put on a shirt, or wipe without pain and discomfort.
When it's all said and done, my experience with injuries is very, very limited. But even with this limited experience I know one thing for sure: being hurt sucks. There's the physical aspect, the pain, struggling with basic tasks like getting in and out of a car, going up stairs, or taking a shower. There's also the emotional aspect. I missed most of my sophmore season with that broken collar bone, and it wasn't easy going to games and practices, not being able to participate.
Greg Oden hasn't sacrificed himself on the court in the way Walton or Roy did, but he has given just as much in his effort and desire to be a Trail Blazer. Surgery after surgery, learning to walk again time and time again. He has put in the time and effort, and we owe him some love and respect. These haven't been elective surgeries. He's not sitting out games because of a toothache either. By all indications he has worked hard each time to come back. He's just a kid, really, but his body may never be right again. That's not an easy thing to cope with.
I went to the Denver game a few weeks ago, and was pretty disappointed in my fellow Blazer fans who booed when Greg's picture was shown on the big screen. Seriously? If we're going to demand class and character from our players, we owe them the same in return. You don't have to love the way his career has turned out (I'm sure he's far from thrilled himself), but he deserves much better from us as fans.