PORTLAND -- Trail Blazers Center Greg Oden said he hopes others - especially kids - can learn from his embarrassing mistake of sexting that came back to haunt him this week. A nude photo he took of himself with his cell phone for a girlfriend more than a year ago just surfaced online.
Knowing a lot of kids my age and younger do this, they can use me as an example. You don't want to get caught (and you) definitely have to be careful who you trust, he said during a press conference. Oden was the center of attention Tuesday, at the team's practice facility in Tualitan. With cameras and reporters surrounding him, Oden's first words to the media were an apology.
I would like to apologize to everyone, Portland, the fans, this organization... my family, it was very embarrassing, said Oden, just hours after the nude photos, which he had thought would always be kept private, surfaced on the Internet and quickly began circulating.
Background:Oden apologizes over nude photos
Oden said he'd taken the cell phone pictures a year-and-a-half ago for girl he was dating and that the pictures were only meant for her.
It was definitely my fault you know, I shouldn't have put myself out there like that and I have to learn from that, said Oden, who hoped others would learn from his mistake.
On Wednesday, several Portland teens said they felt bad for Oden, and would heed his advice.
It's scary... you might think you'd be able to trust someone and then it could get out, said one Lincoln High School student.
People look up to him so they'll know not to do it, said another.
Some students said even before Oden's experience, horror stories from peers had started to curb the sexting trend of sending out nude photos via cell phone.
They'll (students who sext) feel the embarrassment that comes along with it, said student Michael Clark. If they're a good person, they won't want anyone to feel that way so they'll tell them not to do it.
At the Blazers' practice on Wednesday, Oden's teammates said their focus was on their game against Utah, not Oden's indiscretion.
(Oden) made a mistake and he's going to move on from it, said Blazers guard, Jared Bayless. Everybody makes mistakes in their life and we're going to be here to support him and just move on from it.
Just as Oden tried to do the same.
It was very, very embarrassing and hurtful, he said.