Greg Oden

Lots of people gave up on always-injured center Greg Oden. But after all his struggles, nobody knows what his future will be like. Perhaps he’ll finally stay healthy and have a solid career. It could happen. And if it does, it’ll begin in probably the best place possible, on the roster of the NBA champion Miami Heat.

“My body’s just getting used to playing again,” Oden said. “My knees do feel good. I’m able to walk. I’m running, jumping. I’m doing everything.

“It’s going to maintenance for the rest of my life. I’ve got to warm up to warm up and then play. I understand that now.”

So, why Miami? San Antonio, Cleveland, Dallas, New Orleans, Sacramento and Atlanta all showed interest. That smile reappeared, frustration and disappointment a distant memory, before Oden answered.

“My friends told me, ‘If you take out the possibility of getting hurt again, what other choice is there?’” Oden said. “If I take out the possibility of getting hurt, why would I not play with the champs?

“If LeBron decides to get another ring, I get one too, now.”

Reported by the Associated Press

The Oden story will be something to watch in 2013-14.