Greg Oden scores his first NBA points since 2009
Martell Webster witnessed the return of Greg Oden to the NBA Wednesday night at the Verizon Center.
The Wizards' forward was also on the court in Portland for the 7-footer's previous contest when both were members of the Trail Blazers way back on December 5, 2009. Basketball fans know that game ended early and badly for Oden.
"It was crazy. I was right there. I saw it happen," Webster said.
"It" refers to Oden's devastating knee injury suffered against the Houston Rockets, one of several that has kept the former No. 1 overall pick from not just fulfilling his immense potential but also simply playing.
Webster reflected on that horrific moment following the Wizards thrilling 114-97 over Oden's Miami Heat.
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"He went up to contest Aaron Brooks' shot. [The injury] happened when he jumped. The aftermath, there are no words for that."
Oden crumpled to the court, clutching his left knee. Video can be found on internet for those with morbid curiosity.
That remained the final image of Oden during a regular season NBA game until Wednesday.
Miami put the imposing big man on the active for the first time this season against the Wizards. He entered midway through the second quarter, dunking moments later. Oden played nine minutes, nine solid minutes. Perhaps most of all, he walked off the court. Talk about an important step in Oden's progress.
"To see him come through that, it's amazing," said Webster, whose fondness for Oden goes beyond being former teammates.
"That kid's like a little brother to me man," Webster said. "I'm very happy and proud of that kid for making his entry back into the NBA. I felt he always should have been here and at the top. The fact that he's back and looks healthy. He's a step slow, with time that all comes back. Just in itself, just through all the injuries, and everything that he's gone through in life. He's back out there and showing some glimpses of the old Greg. Hopefully, he can get back on track."