After Oden was drafted first overall by the Trail Blazers in 2007, one pick ahead of Kevin Durant, the team outfitted him with a special orthotic insert to even his legs. “Three weeks later, I’m in surgery,” he says. Oden can’t prove that the orthotic is the sole reason his body collapsed in the NBA. The wheels were in motion for his body to fall apart the moment he hit his first growth spurt on the way to 7 feet. Everything in his life since has been governed by it. “And now I’m back here,” he says at the gym, “trying to figure it all out.”
The only thing Oden remembers from the night in 2012 when the Trail Blazers cut him — after three more years and three more knee operations — is that he drank enough to not remember anything. The Heat signed him in 2013, but he played sparingly that season, and the team let him walk. Soon after, on Aug. 7, 2014, Oden was supposed to be with the Ohio State basketball team in the Bahamas, volunteering on a summer tour, but he bailed at the last minute. He went to a club with his on-and-off girlfriend at the time, Christina Green, and he coupled beers with shots. They returned to the house of Oden’s mother, Zoe, and started arguing. Zoe and a friend of Green’s tried to calm him down, but Oden swatted them out of the way, pushed Green onto a couch and hit her three times, according to the police report. The last blow split open her forehead, drawing blood. Oden’s mother pulled him off, and Green’s friend called 911. Oden also called 911, ordered an ambulance and turned himself in. “I was wrong,” he told police, “and I know what has to happen.”
Hoiberg, who coached at Iowa State before heading to Chicago, stated Monday that there is one thing in college basketball that he may never miss. “I hated recruiting,” Hoiberg said, via Front Office Show’s Keith Smith. “I absolutely f’ing hated recruiting. In the NBA it is just coaching. No other stuff. Just coaching.”
Calipari, speaking on the SEC coaches’ summer teleconference, said he’s in favor of the “baseball rule,” referring to Major League Baseball’s rules that allow a player from high school to go to the pros or go to college and then not be eligible to be drafted until after his junior season. “I’m good with the baseball rule. As long as they’re going directly to the NBA, they’re paying them what they deserve to be paid and then it’s on them to look after these kids and give them a gap year if they think they can do that in the NBA,” he said.
If a coach is opposed to the “one-and-done rule,” Calipari’s message is: “Don’t recruit them. Just don’t recruit them. ‘I want four year guys.’ Then recruit four year guys. I don’t understand what the issue is.” “If you’re old school and you’ve been following college basketball and you liked it as kids staying in school four years, and all that, then you’d probably say this has ruined what my game used to look like. Well the world has changed. It’s changed in the NBA, it’s changed in Europe, the game has changed the world has changed,” he said.”