Greg Oden, a former top NBA draft pick last seen as a member of the Miami Heat, was arrested early Thursday morning on battery charges in Indianapolis. According to ESPN.com, he allegedly punched a woman in the face and police say he remains in jail on two preliminary counts of misdemeanor battery.
According to the police report, officers of the suburban county of Lawrence found a woman lying on a sofa with a bloody face when they responded to a call at a home. The woman was Oden’s ex-girlfriend and when an argument between the two of them got out of control, he allegedly lost his temper and struck her.
This latest development marks yet another chapter in the depressing, ongoing “What could have been?” saga surrounding Greg Oden’s career had he just been able to stay healthy. He knows what has to happen now and his actions will have consequences.
As the No. 1 pick in the 2007 NBA Draft, Oden has never been able to stay healthy long enough to have the kind of impact he was expected to have as a two-way dominant center. His first season in the league didn’t come until 2008-09, when he played 61 games and averaged 8.9 points, 7.0 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game for the Portland Trail Blazers. The following season he only played in 21 games due to knee issues.
His 2013-14 campaign with the Miami Heat marked Oden’s third season in the league, but he was only able to play 23 games. He averaged 2.9 points and 2.3 rebounds in 9.2 minutes per game last season as the Heat fell to the San Antonio Spurs in five games in the NBA Finals.
Oden, a former star at Lawrence North High School in Indianapolis, is now a free agent. He was apologetic about the incident, according to the police report, but this incident probably won’t help his free agency stock very much. Oden isn’t the first NBA player to get arrested over the summer, however. P.J. Tucker was arrested back in May for a “super extreme DUI” and Marreese Speights was arrested only a few days ago on DUI charges as well.