Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 8/3/13
Of all the sad parts about Greg Oden‘s struggles to get onto the court in the last six years — and there are a ton of them — one of the saddest is that more fans have not gotten the chance to learn more about one of sports’ more unique individuals. In the run-up to the 2007 draft, when Oden was widely and rightfully expected to be the No. 1 overall pick, the Ohio State center did a series of illuminating interviews. Oden demonstrated a total lack of pretension, a love of matinee movies and an aversion to socks. All anyone knows about him now, of course, is that he has appeared in only 82 games and missed three whole seasons since the Trail Blazers took him first, before Kevin Durant, Al Horford and Joakim Noah. A lot of those people therefore are surprised that taking Oden to Chili’s would be an effective recruiting strategy for Erik Spoelstra the Miami Heat. Really, they shouldn’t be that surprised. “He really liked talking with Erik at Chili’s,” Mike Conley Sr., Oden’s agent, told FOX Sports. “I think that played a major role. He just felt very comfortable with him.” Your scoffs can be heard all the way over here in Watertown, Mass., but taking the humble, and now even more humbled, Oden to get some baby back baby back baby back ribs makes total sense. It was tough to find anyone who would say a bad word about Oden at Ohio State, and where some professional athletes might balk at dining at anything less than a five-star restaurant, Oden is probably more likely than most to go with the flow. But to be completely honest, Ruby Tuesday’s is way better. Photo via Facebook/Greg Oden PHOTO OF THE DAY Hey, Jamie Hersch, don’t worry. Jenny Dell knows just how you feel. Photo via Facebook/Major League Baseball TWEET OF THE DAY Sometimes, covering NFL training camp can feel like watching grass grow. In this case, literally. I should have hit the snooze button. #WhereIsEverybody? #Hello? #Guys? http://t.co/CSbHKfBRqi— Jeff Howe (@jeffphowe) August 03, 2013 VIDEO OF THE DAY This was a driving test. I don’t think she passed. Filed under: Ben Watanabe, Daily Blend, Miami Heat, NBA, Offbeat, Top Stories

This article first appeared on NESN.com and was syndicated with permission.

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