Greg Oden participates in an NBA practice for first time in years

Tuesday was a bit surreal for Miami Heat center Greg Oden.

Not only was he going through his first NBA practice in four years, but it was taking place in the middle of a hotel ballroom on a tropical island.

The Heat opened training camp with a standard, defensive drill-oriented workout in a warehouse-like conference center at the Atlantis Resort. Oden took part in about half of the practice, but that still was a significant step forward as he attempts a long-shot comeback after not playing since December 2009 because of chronic knee problems.

“It felt good just being out there,” Oden said. “First time in a while, I’m happy I got it completed. They had to pull me off the floor. But I’ve got to take steps.”

Reported by Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com