A Timeline of Greg Oden’s Injury-Riddled Career

By  //  August 4, 2022

The world of college and professional sports is nothing short of a brutal one. Achieving infamy in this world can be done in one of two ways. Men and women can achieve great success, and so be remembered for their time dominating their competition, or they can be known for wasted potential or failure.

One of the harshest aspects of this world is how much wear and tear it can have on a person, and possibly leave them with nothing to show for it. 

Men and women can spend a large portion of their lives training, focusing, and aspiring for greatness only to not make the cut, or fall out of grace. For anyone wanting to take professional sports seriously, there is a heavy cost to count. Not only does success come at great sacrifice, but the concept of failure can come with either the wrong kind of infamy or little to no recognition at all.

Geg Oden is one man who despite being remembered as an NBA draft bust, has managed to continue to invest in his sport, and make something of himself along the way. Despite a disappointing stint in the NBA, Greg Oden’s net worth is thought to be around $16 million dollars. Greg Oden has been able to deal with the results of injuries that robbed him of a potentially great career in the NBA but still found ways to invest in basketball. 

While his story lives as a ‘what if’ kind of scenario, he is an example of how even the most promising athletes can deal with unfortunate injuries.

True, his career will always be viewed as unfortunate, and he’s gained infamy for what he hasn’t accomplished more than what he has – but he has merit. Despite the disappointment, he has stayed invested in basketball by continuing to coach. He has amassed and not squandered a small fortune from his time in the NBA, is happily married to his wife, and is a father to one daughter.

Possibly the most impressive aspect of Greg Oden’s career is that he is still remembered. With a disappointing NBA career that started in 2007, this man is still remembered. While his story lives as a ‘what if’ kind of scenario, he is an example of how even the most promising athletes can deal with unfortunate injuries. 

Here is a brief timeline of the injuries that Greg Oden’s career suffered.

A Promising Start

A native of Indiana, Greg Oden had a stellar high school career in Basketball. As a teen in Indianapolis, Greg Oden attended Lawrence North High School, where he would play for the Wildcats, which lead to three IHSAA state championships. By his senior year, the promising basketball star was named Gatorade Indiana Boys Basketball Player of the Year for two years in a row. 

With a promising future, Greg Oden went on to play for Ohio State’s Buckeyes. As promising as his future career was, Greg Oden started his college basketball path with an omen, a wrist injury. This took him off the court for a short amount of time in 2006-07 during his first year; however, this only represented a few games. Once he had recovered, Oden returned to the court with more than an impressive display of prowess and potential. 

Oden’s first season saw impressive results with an average of 15.7 points, 9.6 rebounds, and 3.3 blocks. Despite starting a little shaky with the wrist injury, Oden was able to see a lot of success. With Oden’s talent and skill, the Buckeyes were able to go to the state championship for the first time since 1962. Despite a loss to the Florida Gators, Oden went on to be drafted in 2007 by the Portland Trail Blazers. 

NBA Injuries

Being the number one overall pick for the 2007 NBA draft put the spotlight on this aspiring new talent. While Oden had an impressive high school and college career behind him, this kind of prestige gave him a lot to live up to. Unfortunately, his career soon became riddled with injuries that have made Oden one of the biggest draft busts in NBA history. 

In the fall of 2007 right at the beginning of his professional career, Oden sustained a microfracture on his right knee. This required surgery which took him off the court for the entire duration of his rookie season. In true Oden fashion, as soon as he was on his feet again, he was proving that he really did belong in basketball. With strong performance, an average of 8.9 points, he even scored a career of 24 points against the Bucks. 

In December of 2009, Oden would again suffer another injury. This time it was a fracture in his left patella, which ended his season after only playing 21 games. Oden was expected to recover and be back on the court, but unfortunately saw more injuries and setbacks from additional knee injuries. This led to eventually being waived by the Blazers in 2012, less than five years from being the NBA team’s number one pick in 2007. 


Greg Oden would go on to sign one year in 2013 with the famous Miami heat where he would play in 23 contests. This would be his first regular season, however, this would also be the end of his unprecedently short 105-game career in the NBA.