of the Tribune-Star catches up
with former Portland Trail Blazers center Greg Oden to get some extensive thoughts on the status of a possible comeback to the NBA and what career he might choose after basketball.
"I would love to play [in 2012-13], but I’m not going to rush anything," he said Thursday. "I need to take a year off. What I told [agent] Mike [Conley] was ‘Look, I want to get back with a team. I want to play. If there’s a chance that later on in the [NBA] year, if I feel good or if I’m healthy enough to play, I would love to play this year.’ That’s the conversation we had. I think some people kinda blew that up and took his words and kinda changed them around. I know I need to get healthy first before I do anything."
"It’s not like teams are out there telling people they want me, because they’re not right now," Oden explained. "And I’m not out there telling people I want to go to a certain team. I want to go to a place where I can get healthy and with somebody who can believe in me and my skills — somewhere it could be a good fit for the both of us."
"I actually want to be a [high school or middle school] gym teacher," he said. "I feel like they have the best job ever. You think about it, they get their weekends off and they get to wear sweats every day to work."
Oden also acknowledged the possibility that his multiple knee surgeries could end his NBA career: "If basketball doesn't work out, you gotta keep it moving."
Oden, 24, was the No. 1 pick in the 2007 NBA Draft and has not appeared in an NBA game since Dec. 5, 2009.
-- Ben Golliver | firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter