Former first overall pick Greg Oden is hoping to return to the court this summer — not in the NBA, but in Ice Cube’s 3-on-3 league. The BIG3 announced today that Oden has joined the league’s draft pool for the coming season (Twitter link).
Oden, who turned 30 last month, was selected by Portland with the No. 1 pick in the 2007 draft, one spot ahead of Kevin Durant. However, the Ohio State standout only appeared in 105 total NBA games, averaging 8.0 PPG and 6.2 RPG, last playing in the league for the Heat in 2013/14. His career was derailed by multiple knee and leg injuries.
After making an effort to revive his playing career in China during the 2015/16, the former Trail Blazers center said multiple times in the fall of 2016 that his playing career was over. “Don’t get me wrong,” Oden said at the time. “If I was healthy, I would love to continue playing, but I’m not healthy.”
A year and a half later, it appears Oden may not be ready to throw in the towel after all, as he makes an effort to participate in a three-on-three league that features former NBA players like Chauncey Billups, Stephen Jackson, Jermaine O’Neal, Rashard Lewis, Kenyon Martin, and many more. For now, Oden isn’t on a BIG3 roster, but if he’s healthy this spring, he’ll be an intriguing candidate to be plucked out of the draft pool by one of the league’s clubs.