Originally posted on Larry Brown Sports  |  Last updated 5/9/12

Former Ohio State bench warmer turned writer Mark Titus did a lengthy interview with Greg Oden, his former Buckeyes teammate. The two have known each other since playing AAU ball together in 2001, and it’s apparent in the write-up that Oden is a shy introvert who values his privacy. This was a rare interview where Oden opened up and revealed many details about his life.

Oden allowed Titus to reveal that the real reason he hurt his wrist prior to arriving at Ohio State was because he had a fight with his brother. He explained that he began drinking heavily throughout his second season in the NBA because he had a cousin around who became a bad influence. Oden also told Titus how difficult it was for him when his naked pictures hit the web in January 2010. The center explained that he locked himself in the house for three days after those pictures were released.

A footnote to the interview says “numerous porn companies called [Oden's] agent and made offers after they saw the pictures.”

“I wish it wouldn’t have happened,” he said. “But I’m not going to apologize for it. After all, I’m human and there are worse things that 21-year-olds could do. 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.”

Oden says he rushed back from a surgery to prove he wanted to contribute to the Blazers, but he believes that only led to a third knee surgery. If you didn’t think all that was enough, Oden’s cousin and dog died.

The former No. 1 overall pick is planning to take next season off and he’s hoping to come back in the 2013-2014 season. After seeing how much he’s gone through, I’ll be rooting for him to do well. The guy has had a lot of misfortune. It’s about time things start going his way on the court.

This article first appeared on Larry Brown Sports and was syndicated with permission.

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