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REPORT: Greg Oden Battled Alcohol Abuse Last Season

Greg Oden’s career is once again in jeopardy. The former no.1 overall draft pick joined the Miami Heat last season after being away from the game for four years, however, he played in just 23 games, averaging 2.9 points and 2.3 rebounds per game.

Oden is currently a free agent and it isn’t look like anyone will take a chance on him. He is currently facing a felony domestic violence charge after punching his ex-girlfriend in the face.

Reports have now surfaced that Oden was also battling alcohol abuse during his time in Miami this past season. Oden previously battled alcohol abuse during his second season in the NBA.  Via ESPN: 

“Every time Greg seems to be about to trend upward, something happens,” said James Jones, a teammate of Oden’s for a season with the Portland Trail Blazers and last season with the Heat. “It’s unfortunate. Obviously, this time is a different situation than anything he’s really faced before.”

Privately, his battle with personal demons still raged, according to multiple sources. Alcohol abuse remained a concern last season as he sat out many games because of soreness in his knees and back. When he was left in Miami during road trips early in the season, he often was spotted at local sports bars and restaurants, including a Hooters across the street from AmericanAirlines Arena, to watch the games.

Teammates talked about Oden’s straight-faced, dry humor and often joked that he was on a multiyear “rehab contract.” His candidness to the point of self-deprecation was viewed as a coping mechanism, but it was generally respected by those around him.

 

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