PORTLAND – An interview with former Trail Blazer Greg Oden is giving some insight into a very private world.
Oden’s childhood friend Mark Titus writes in Grantland.com that Oden can barely stand autograph seekers and said he considered himself an alcoholic while on the team’s sidelines in Portland.
The Blazers wrapped up their season of turmoil 28-38, their worst record since 2005-06.
Brandon Roy announced that he was retiring because of ongoing trouble with both of his knees. Hours later, news broke that oft-injured former No. 1 draft pick Oden had suffered a setback with his surgically repaired left knee.
To top it off, doctors examining forward LaMarcus Aldridge determined that he needed a procedure for Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome, a heart condition.
Oden details at one point how he quit seeing sports psychologist Joseph Carr, suspecting he was sharing details from their sessions with the team, which led to distrust.The article indicates Oden felt the Blazers could have taken better care of him.
“It would be one thing if I had been healthy for five years and just sucked when I was on the court,” he tells Titus. ”But I can't prove what I can do because I can't stay healthy. Not having control over the situation makes it tough."
In a statement issued Wednesday evening, the Blazers claimed "We took great care of Greg and always put his health and well being first. We were exceedingly patient and cautious with his return to the court in order that he would ultimately become the player we all dreamed he could be." Team President Larry Miller says "We love Greg and always will. He's an outstanding young man and we wish him nothing but the best for the future."
Portland heads into the summer with no permanent general manager or head coach.