Nobody’s Fault But Mine?


Photo: Bleacherreport

I’m not a Blazer fan. I wasn’t raised in Oregon so while I root for a different team, I still pull for the Trailblazers for all but 10 games per season.

That said, I feel like it’s time for a neutral party to step in with a reality check for ex-Blazer Greg Oden.

Yesterday Oden made headlines by giving a “tell-all” interview about the 5 seasons that he spent in Portland.

While admitting to blowing his free-time on alcohol, drugs, and amateur cell phone photography, Oden also took the time to point out how difficult it was to be underage, rich, and overexposed.

Here are some of the informational gems gleaned from the interview:

“It’s almost like a cloud has been following Greg since high school. He even had bad luck… landing in the same draft class as Kevin Durant.”

“the real reason he injured his wrist… defending himself in a fight with his ‘hotheaded’ younger brother… [their] occasionally ugly sibling rivalry is similar to a lot of brothers’ relationships, but the fact that Greg was the best basketball player in the country only intensified things…

“Portland isn’t a great city to live in if you’re a young, African-American male with a lot of money,” Greg explained with an embarrassed grin… I didn’t have veteran teammates around to help me adapt to the NBA lifestyle.”

“…it wasn’t an NBA veteran who took Greg under his wing… it was his cousin from the Air Force … If you know anything about guys in the Air Force,” Greg explained, “it’s that they drink a ton. My cousin got wrapped up in the NBA lifestyle and threw parties at my house all the time…”

“”I wish it [nude pictures] wouldn’t have happened, “But I’m not going to apologize for it… I just got caught up with women throwing themselves at me. When a girl sends me 100 pictures, I have to send something back every now and then. I’m not an a__hole.”

For those paying attention, Greg Oden coming to Portland and spending 5 years “getting his zoot on” is actually:

Kevin Durant’s fault… for being really good,

His brother’s fault… for not being good enough,

The fan’s fault… for expecting too much,

Portland’s fault… for being a racist city,

The Blazer’s fault… for not providing chaperones,

The Air Force’s fault… for being a bunch of drunks,

and Women’s fault… for sending him all those nudie pics.

I guess he’s really only guilty of trying to be a gentleman.

I know Greg and I come from different worlds, but I don’t think it’s speculation that he and I would differ on what makes a man an a-hole in regards to text messaging.

After detailing “the whole story” about Greg Oden, and expecting us to be understanding about “what Greg went through”, the article goes on to speculate that Oden would probably have healed up just fine had he been taken by another city… because everybody knows that the Blazers have a bad training staff… who rushed Greg back onto the floor… so that he could hurt his other knee.

Although these accusations have never been proven (just widely speculated) the author makes his assertion in the “I’m not saying it’s Portland’s fault, I’m just sayin’…” sort of journalistic style that made Hard Copy a giant of the industry.

As a Laker fan, even I know that Portland is too good for this kind of treatment.

While Oden’s ability to acknowledge his problems may set him apart from other NBA players, it still doesn’t earn him any points. He acknowledges his problems because he has to; they can’t be hidden any longer. Without addressing them he can’t begin to repair his reputation in hopes of playing for another team.

Where Oden looks like a Laker is in his inability to take responsibility for HIS role in his own failures. Issuing an article full of Distraction, Deflection, and Minimization means that he agrees he has problems, but it’s someone else’s job to do something about them.

Portland was incredibly long-suffering with Oden. They were also unfailingly gracious in the face of his embarrassing behavior.

Portland is a great city for a man of ANY color to live in, provided he doesn’t try to get involved in drugs, underage drinking, and debauchery… while trying to keep it a secret.

Blazer fans deserve apologies not excuses.

Greg Oden’s problem wasn’t Portland,

it wasn’t the weed,

it wasn’t the alcohol,

it wasn’t the girls,

it wasn’t his wrist,

and it wasn’t his knees.

It was Greg Oden.

I’m hoping that Greg takes his year off of basketball to assess what it is he can change about his life. If he does, there’s a chance he grasps that the only integer he can modify in his life equation is himself.

We all think that the best way to improve our lives is to change our location or circumstances, but the truth is that “wherever we go, there WE are.”

With the exception of clinical depression and mental illness, happiness and satisfaction are a choice that we make, regardless of the situation we are in.

Unless we address our own hearts and minds the unhappiness of our present situation will always follow us to our next location.

Because we pack it along in our “baggage”.

Let’s hope that Greg’s rehab isn’t just limited to knees and public relations.

5 Responses to “Nobody’s Fault But Mine?”

  1. Rick May 11, 2012 at 10:33 am #

    Uh yeah … if this doesn’t sing of the entitlement mentality I don’t know what does. I wonder if Greg will vote for Barack? Or better yet, maybe Gregg is wishing deep down inside that somehow Barack will come to his rescue?

  2. Brian May 11, 2012 at 3:17 pm #

    It’s too bad that Damon Stoudamire and Rasheed Wallace weren’t around to mentor him into a better adjusted NBA superstar. ;-)

    • Jon May 12, 2012 at 7:01 am #

      Or Isaiah Rider!

  3. Dugan May 12, 2012 at 9:11 am #

    “Getting his zoot on!”

  4. Tyler Butenschoen May 22, 2012 at 9:43 am #

    Greg needs a good dad.

Leave a Reply to Dugan

XHTML: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>