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Quick: Does Oden Want to Play?

Is Nate applying a little bit of public pressure to nudge Greg back on the floor?  Here's Quick's article.  

Trail Blazers coach Nate McMillan has joined the ranks of the confused and curious in regard to Greg Oden's injured left knee, which caused the rookie center to miss his fourth game in a row on Tuesday.

"I'm where everybody else is with it," McMillan said. "I get a daily update and we thought, everybody thought, that he would be moving by now, if not playing. But things just keep getting bumped back."

At practice last week, Nate seemed a little miffed at the changing diagnoses so it doesn't come as a surprise that his confusion is mounting.

Also, worth a listen: Quick's segment on 1080 The Fan yesterday. Quick successfully avoided Isaac and Suke's speculation about Greg's drinking and rumored drug use but did say the following:  

I can't quite get a feel for everybody, if they are starting to maybe shift it a little bit to not so much on Greg's knee but Greg's head. Does Greg really want to play? Is he trying to play? Because I've seen them urge him to get on the bike to work out during this time.


I'm starting to shift more in that camp: Does Greg Oden really love basketball? You know, does he? It doesn't look like it... I hate, you know... We should give the guy a break. It's a legitimate injury. His kneecap is chipped. There is some swelling. But I don't know. I just don't see him maybe working as hard as he could to get back.

Quick also notes on the show that he has long defended Greg from that type of question.

My two cents: all players express their love for the game differently.  Over the last six months it's tough to point to specific moments where I can say, "this is an obvious reflection of Greg's love for the game."  

Whether through enthusiasm, determination, celebration, a quiet moment at the locker, anger, frustration, or just outright joy, I can look up and down the roster and call up "Love for the game" moments, both on and off the court, at games and at practice, for just about every player pretty quickly.  Greg is a tougher nut.

I'm not saying Greg doesn't love basketball. I am saying that he's by far the most difficult guy to read on the team.  

-- Ben (