Greg Oden: the next Bill Russell, the comeback story … The Bust

Hindsight is 20/20. As the NBA continues to evolve, it becomes easier and easier to dub Greg Oden as the biggest bust in league history. Being drafted one spot before Kevin Durant certainly doesn’t help but is it fair to label Oden as a bust if he never had the chance to properly succeed?

In our new series ‘Prism’ we aim to tackle the public perception of iconic athletes and sports personalities, in an effort to better understand the person, where that perception came from, and what other aspects of their history it overlooks. In the case of Greg Oden, he’s consistently labeled as one of the biggest busts in the history of the NBA. Athletes typically fit this description when they fail to meet a certain level of expectations but Oden’s case is unique. To fully understand why Oden is perceived this way, we have to remember his extreme potential, how the NBA operated before he was drafted, and distinguish why not all busts are the same.

Written and produced by: Joe Ali
Directed by: Ryan Simmons
Art direction by: Michael Das

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  1. Secret Base

    welcome to Prism y'all, we're really excited to finally share this with you. we'll have a new episode every Tuesday between now and September 20th, so keep an eye out and we'll see you soon

  2. Daniel Casteel

    As an Ohio native, this literally hurt my heart watching this. Greg Oden was unfairly cursed by the basketball Gods in such cruel ways.

  3. Mental Madness21

    The mental health aspect is often overlooked, so thank you for shining a light on it, too.

  4. TwerkToSpec

    Kofi has the voice of a cold fart

  5. Dayz Darklands

    he looked 30 when he was drafted

  6. Joshua C.

    No sympathy whatsoever. Drinking alcohol alters recovery too. He had literally millions of dollars. He could have sought counseling on his own.

    Being A lifelong Pacer fan and all the injuries I've had to endure while players make multi million dollars watching in street clothes has made me way less empathetic. All the players in the late 80s and 90s would play 82 games A year. I'm sorry my tolerance is completely gone for players that are always injured ESPECIALLY after a multi million dollar pay day.

  7. J

    Decribing mj as the space jam actor 😭

  8. Jace Fowler

    Sad….. He couldn't help getting hurt

  9. Cmayy

    Jesus Christ is love ❤

  10. A D

    its why the label exists

  11. Jordan Paul

    Oden may be a bust because of injuries but he tried. Without a doubt, the biggest bust is Anthony Bennett. He didn’t try at all.

  12. Roger Lee

    I met Oden when he was in HS. Genuinely a quiet guy and humble, too. Very kind guy.

  13. not today

    Goddamn what a sad story, poor guy.

  14. Konstantin Koverchenko

    Damn, he should’ve had knee pads for those shoty knees.

  15. Manz

    Fleeced the Blazers tho

  16. Kaleb Kemper

    He lived where I live (Columbus) after he was out of the league. I worked liquor last summer and he came to my store and bought something. Biggest guy I've ever seen in person, at least that close because he was like a foot away from me. He completely cleared the glass COVID barrier lol. I didn't bother him because I assumed he was just trying to be in and out. I looked at my coworker right after he left and I said "did you know who that guy was?" he responded no, I then asked him if he knew who Kevin Durant was. Which he of course said yes to. I then told him that guy I just rang up was the #1 pick in the NBA draft higher than KD his mind was blown.

  17. HigglyBiggly

    Grew up in Indiana. My high school team went to semi-state, 2A, in 2005. We lost but stuck around because Oden was playing same arena. I was just a dumb kid sticking my hand out for a high five and he gave me one, with some other kids. Dude was a great guy and didn't let that hype get to his head. Always makes me sad what happened to him.

  18. FiatLux

    I never considered him a bust. He’s in that same category of players like D Rose and Grant Hill and Penny. Promising guys cut down too soon by injuries. The “what if?” of the NBA.

  19. Tae 2x

    It's tough when injuries are really the only thing stopping you from having a great career

Comments are closed