The once promising career of former Ohio State basketball player Greg Oden has likely ended after the former No. 1 overall NBA Draft pick was arrested on battery charges after allegedly hitting an ex-girlfriend in his home state of Indiana.
Oden, who helped lead the Buckeyes to the 2007 NCAA National Championship game, has largely been a recipient of sympathy across the basketball world, as injuries have plagued his career.
No one, however, will likely give him sympathy after this latest incident.
It is unfortunate that a man with such a bright future just eight years ago has seen his career disappear right before his eyes, however he has only himself to blame for the way his basketball career may end.
Oden, who is currently a free agent, could ill afford an incident like this as his career was already in a tailspin, something you don’t usually say about a 26-year-old former No. 1 pick.
The former Buckeye center has played in just 105 games in only three active seasons and was inactive from December 2009 to the 2013-14 season in which he appeared in just 23 games for the Miami Heat, who signed him to a one-year deal in August 2013.
While Oden is currently looking for a new team, the NBA needs to make an example of the former star center.
The NFL was recently in a similar position with Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice.
Rice was seen on videotape dragging his seemingly unconscious fiancée out of an elevator after beating her. Rice and his fiancée were both charged with assault.
Rice was suspended just two games by the NFL.
While Oden is not currently on a roster, should he get picked up, he should get a much more severe punishment than Rice received.
There is no room for domestic violence in sports, nor in any aspect of life. Men and women who receive great attention and are role models for thousands of young people need to be held to a higher standard and Oden is no exception.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver, who has not even been in office a full year has already handled the Donald Sterling situation with professionalism and integrity.
He made an example of Sterling and I hope would do the same to Oden.
It is one thing for a young man’s career to end due to injury, it is another for it to end like this.