Exclusives at Grantland have their place in newsie news. I’m glad Greg Oden gets a chance to attempt a comeback. People are going to get all riled up about his choice in destination and the columns about his attempt to prove his worth and all that will be exhausting, but I’m going to reserve judgement on this for awhile and just say I hope it works out better for Oden and the Heat than it did for Brandon Roy and the Wolves.
From the Grantland piece:
About a year ago, Greg Oden told me that his plan was to rejoin his high school and college teammate Mike Conley Jr. in Memphis at the start of the 2013-14 season. Three months ago, he told me he wanted to play for Cleveland because he likes living in Ohio. Last month, he said his trip to Miami during the NBA Finals won him over and the Heat were the front-runners to land him.
In 2006, back when I was one of his AAU teammates, Oden was the most sought-after high school big man since Lew Alcindor. But for some reason, as he prepared to return to the NBA next season and teams courted him, he kept changing his mind like someone who’d never been recruited before. I decided that instead of trying to figure out Oden’s thought process, I’d just wait until he was ready to make an official decision.
That time is now. Greg Oden, the no. 1 pick in the 2007 NBA draft, will sign with the Miami Heat.
“Obviously the chance to play with the best player in the world and compete for a championship was a big selling point,” Oden told me. “But more than that, what I really liked was how they thought I could really add something to their team. They’ve won back-to-back championships without me, so for them to pursue me as hard as they did meant a lot, especially given all that I’ve gone through.”