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University of Kentucky Basketball, Football, and Recruiting news brought to you in the most ridiculous manner possible.

Mark Titus Interviews Greg Oden

Before I knew anything about college basketball recruiting, before I ever stepped an internet-foot onto Cat’s Pause or KSR, I knew about Greg Oden.  Up close and personal (…kind of).

It was the summer between my sophomore and junior year of high school in Indiana.  Our brand new varsity basketball coach took our squad to team-camp at IU in Bloomington.  Somehow, we got matched up against Lawrence North on Assembly Hall’s actual floor.  The real deal.  We witnessed this behemoth of a man warming up and dunking everything in sight.  Trembling, we all let out a sigh of relief when he decided to sit out of our impending game to have a trainer tend to his ankle.

None of us knew the heavy foreshadowing that moment held.  Nor did we know his name.  But that gigantic one-man block party was Greg Oden.

Shortly after the game, we all learned he was the number one player in the country, etc.  We weren’t surprised, but still shocked to be in his presence.  He seemed like a nice enough guy, but none of us talked to him.  However, some have been privileged enough to get the inside scoop on his story.  Former teammate Mark Titus (@clubtrillion) penned this Grantland piece that profiles Greg Oden in a light most have never seen.  This is a great piece and worth the read.

From exposing the true cause of Oden’s freshman year injury and the accompanying brotherly love/feud, to telling the heartbreaking tale of his best friend’s untimely death, and even to the big man’s bout with alcoholism, Titus paints Oden to be a fragile, shy, and truly human being.  Most of us may see this young man as an injury-prone bust who now pales in comparison to the scoring machine (Kevin Durant) he was chosen above in the draft.  In reality, there are many more complex layers to athletes like Greg, and this interview shows just that.

Check out a couple insightful quotes from the article:

“Because I don’t understand why they are so excited to meet me,” Greg responded. “I’m just a person. I guess I didn’t really mind it when I was at Ohio State and even right after I was drafted, but it just seems so fake now. Like, why are you bothering me at dinner for a picture when I’m nothing now?”

“For starters, Portland isn’t a great city to live in if you’re a young, African American male with a lot of money,” Greg explained with an embarrassed grin. “But that’s especially true if you don’t have anybody to guide you. Since I was hurt the entire season, I was on my own a bunch and didn’t have veteran teammates around to help me adapt to the NBA lifestyle.”

“I’m at peace with everything. I want more than anything to be able to play again. But if I can’t, I’ll still have a decent life. Getting cut (by Portland) kind of put everything into perspective. There’s more to life than basketball, and at some point it’s going to end anyway. I’m going to do what I can to get back on the court, but if it doesn’t work out, I’ll find something else to do and have a normal life.”

*Personal favorite quote with Titus’ oh-so-true retort:

“When a girl sends me 100 pictures, I have to send something back every now and then. I’m not an asshole.”  (Hey, we’ve all been there, right?)

Despite his mistakes, it’s hard not to cheer for Greg.  He’s humble and real, despite the millions of dollars and broken dreams.  Titus tells us that Oden plans to rehab, work on his degree, and come back strong to the NBA when he is ready.  Just as I have been doing since that day I came across him at Assembly Hall, I’ll be pulling hard for Greg Oden to succeed.

Article written by Chris Thomas

15 Comments for Mark Titus Interviews Greg Oden

  1. WhatSheOrder?FishFilet?
    6:13 pm May 9, 2012 Permalink

    you still probably got cooked up by Conley tho, right?

  2. JC
    6:32 pm May 9, 2012 Permalink

    Why is this here? Pop culture..fine. Former Ohio State failures…..don’t need it. Post an updated on the baseball team instead.

  3. HOO HOO
    6:34 pm May 9, 2012 Permalink

    How come the state of Kentucky cannot churn out stud prospects like Indiana?


  4. Nick
    6:42 pm May 9, 2012 Permalink

    2 — Why not both? I found this interesting. Does literally EVERYTHING have to be UK-related? (And you’d rather read a “pop culture” article than an interesting article about the former No. 1 NBA draft pick? If Snooki interests you more than a story about Greg Oden, please check to see if you still have a pair of testicles. Or I guess you could be a girl, which might explain this. Or you could be Jesus Christ, in which case, I’m sorry.)

    Why do we have to crap all over these guys and gals all the time?

  5. ksr mission
    6:59 pm May 9, 2012 Permalink

    Kentucky basketball, football, & recruiting news brought to you in the most ridiculous manner possible.

    This meets none of the criteria so has no reason to be on this site. I agree with #2, let’s show at least a little love to our outstanding baseball team. Maybe a little “get to know” our players & coaches, or at least give daily updates on the games played.

    The writers on ksr are losing sight of what has made ksr such a great place to share stories/info about the university of kentucky sports program. If any of our fellow readers are interested in feel good stories about other players & programs then there are plenty of other websites devoted to finding that.

    GO BIG BLUE!!!

  6. Al's IndiCats
    7:00 pm May 9, 2012 Permalink

    Hoo Hoo God love ya! Hows that new crack pipe workin’ for ya? Are the new sheep ok? I heard someone told you that in late summer you have to sheer your sheep, and you said you ain’t sheering them with anybody.

  7. JC
    7:04 pm May 9, 2012 Permalink

    Nick, actually, this is the first negative thing I’ve ever written on here. And that is the truth. Compared to everything else commented what I wrote is actually quite mild. I defend them and the college kids once or twice a month, even when criticism is sometimes deserved. They always put other pop culture stuff up (i.e Music, movies, tv, and books), but I do not care about the failure of Greg Oden. And if you don’t recognized the pop culture on here all the time, you do not know what it is. There’s an article comparing Cody Zeller to Andrew Luck, why not post that too. But there is an article at The Sporting News that talks about new Freshman eligibility standards. Link that. And it should be noted I met Titus at a Columbus bar several years ago through a friend, complimented him and got the reply “So. Why should I care?” He was a complete jackass. Don’t want to support him either.

  8. kelm
    7:18 pm May 9, 2012 Permalink

    You gotta realize that football and basketball, the two biggest sports aren’t in season. Not much is really goin on with UK sports that people wanna read about besides… recruiting and what Cal is doing. These seems to be about every 30 min so the posts have to be other topics. This is a kentucky sports site but come on, its nice to read what’s happening with other schools (North Carolina or how crappy IU is) and then make fun of them b/c they don’t compare to UK!!!!!

  9. gregoenshugecawk
    7:21 pm May 9, 2012 Permalink

    3. we dont worry about ,we just come to indiana and take yours

  10. spookykim
    8:06 pm May 9, 2012 Permalink

    I always liked, & felt sorry, for this kid. I wish him the best.

  11. barn
    10:12 pm May 9, 2012 Permalink

    he sounds like a whiner

  12. Illini Cat
    10:25 pm May 9, 2012 Permalink

    It is relevant and does pertain to UK basketball.
    Cause it is the same situation that happened a one Sam Bowie. Who you may not remember played for the big blue in the 80s. Picked ahead of so so player named Micheal Jordan and guess what? Mr Bowie was selected by the same team as Oden … The Portland Trailblazers …
    That’s why it’s a good post … Relax

  13. Mkgistebow
    10:26 pm May 9, 2012 Permalink

    I really dislike osu and always thought oden was overrated. I have spent the last 6 years having my opinion of his skills/body/durability vindicated. The sad thing is that osu fans, in general(all of my in laws are osu alums), disown him and don’t give him a 2nd thought. Classic buckeyes, as is the case with Maurice clarrett they use you for your skills and then forget you cease to exist when you need them.

  14. Threadee McThreadThread
    11:32 pm May 9, 2012 Permalink

    This would’ve been a great post…if the site were called Buckeye Sports Radio.

  15. lalablue
    12:02 am May 10, 2012 Permalink

    Simple solution for those who don’t like this post, don’t read it. KSR cannot do the impossible and please all the people all the time! Some people just want to _itch and gripe. Take it somewhere else.