In somewhat of a surprise, Greg Oden saw action on Wednesday night for the Miami Heat. It was his first NBA game action since Dec. 5, 2009, a span of 1,418 days.
That alone was impressive, but it was what happened shortly after that really had twitter abuzz.
Oden has participated in portions of Miami’s training camp but reportedly had faced “setbacks” with his progress — knee soreness, basically. The Heat did not announce before the game that Oden would get his first run of the exhibition season. The Heat went with the surprise element route. It worked.
After the fact, here’s what Twitter was saying shortly after.
— Tom Haberstroh (@tomhaberstroh) October 24, 2013
Greg Oden back and he scored a bucket. Shot charts dont lie! pic.twitter.com/IkS1Rx7Ddo
— Drew Garrison (@DrewGarrisonSBN) October 24, 2013
Good for Oden for getting back on the court. Now everyone pump the brakes. Still a long way from regular rotation contributor.
— Ethan J. Skolnick (@EthanJSkolnick) October 24, 2013
LeBron on Oden: “I might have to toast this for him. I ain’t no drinker but I might have to take a shot for him.”
— Joseph Goodman (@JoeGoodmanJr) October 24, 2013
In my opinion, the best part of the whole dunk video was the bench reaction. Udonis Haslem pumping his fist is so telling.
But it was more than just that. It was more than a dunk. It was more than a bench going crazy. It was a victory for Oden. If you don’t know his story, you might see this as no big deal. But to him, it meant the world.
After being labeled a bust, being counted out and overlooked — on and off the basketball court — he won. He might never became an intricate part of any basketball team for the rest of his playing career, but the fact that he was able to comeback from everything and have this one, small victory says it all.
Oden can never played another second in the NBA and still be a winner.
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