Greg Oden continues his progress in Heat practices

“He fouled me twice,” LeBron James said with a smile.

It might have been two of the more enjoyable fouls of James’ career, especially in a practice setting.

The hits came from Greg Oden during the scrimmage portion of Monday’s Miami Heat practice at AmericanAirlines Arena.

It has been more than three seasons since Oden has appeared in an NBA game. Monday marked another step in his comeback from several gruesome knee injuries, even as coach Erik Spoelstra yet again downplayed the hulking center’s timetable.

“It felt good to be out there, get some up and down,” Oden said. “You see I’m a little frustrated in myself because I’m not as back as I want to be. But you know, it’s little steps. Today was another step, getting out there and doing some five on five.”

Teammates appreciated the moment.

“It’s a testament to him just keeping his composure, his believing in himself, his family believing in him,” James said. “He’s back where he belongs, and that’s in the NBA.”

Reported by Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel