When Greg Oden entered the league, he was seen as a fun-loving kid who just happened to look 45. Well, now his persona is reportedly matching his appearance, taking a nose dive just when a number of middle-aged stock brokers watch their retirement pension funds go up in smoke. Hey, you’d be pretty depressed, too, if you lost $3 million in a week.
(Leave Greg and his puppy alone. They’re sulking.)
Oden? This guy should be happy with one of the world’s greatest lives. He’s an immensely compensated professional athlete who lives in a beautiful city that wants nothing more than to love him as he resurrects the franchise. The problem is that, while the Trail Blazers are clearly on an upswing, Oden hasn’t been the catalyst. That’s left the big man more than sulky, according to PORTLAND OREGONIAN beat writer Jason Quick on Portland’s 1080 THE FAN sports radio on Wednesday. Here’s the best pull from what Quick had to say:
I can’t really stand to be around him. He’s such a downer. He’s not a very fun guy to be around and he’s not a very fun guy to talk to. I think his teammates like him, but that guy is not interacting with very many guys in the locker room right now. He can’t let go of being Greg Oden. I think he’s obsessing with all this expectations. Until he starts having fun again playing basketball, he’s not going to get better. I don’t know how he’s going to do that.
That sure sounds like early burnout, doesn’t it?