INDIANAPOLIS—Having already received interest from several other NBA teams, reports confirmed Thursday that former Portland Trail Blazers center Greg Oden suppressed acute shooting pains throughout his entire body while holding talks over a prospective move to the Miami Heat.
According to sources, Oden attended a two-hour meeting with head coach Erik Spoelstra and other members of the Heat coaching staff, during which he attempted to conceal constant surges of excruciating physical distress.
“I can’t wait to get back on the court,” said Oden, forcing a wide smile as wave after wave of tortuous pain reportedly flooded through nerves in his arms, legs, neck, chest, and back. “I feel refreshed, healthy, and raring to go. I had a few tough years there, but I’m ready to prove I can be a dominant NBA center.”
“Honestly, I’ve never felt better,” Oden added before abruptly drawing a sharp intake of breath and clearing his throat.
Reports confirmed the two-time defending NBA champions are keen to utilize Oden, who did his utmost to hide the searing pain running from the tips of his fingers to the bottoms of his feet, as a traditional center alongside LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh.
Grinding his teeth and enduring what sources called “a piercing stabbing” in his ribs, the former Ohio State star insisted that he is ready to prove his durability and put his injury-blighted time in Portland behind him.
“I know I have a history of knee issues and microfracture surgeries, but my doctors will clear me for full-contact by early August, and I’ll definitely be ready by opening day,” Oden said while reportedly experiencing sweeping, severe burning sensations across every inch of his skin. “But I’m not just aiming to play—I want to win titles. I want to be the best in the league.”
“I’m just looking for a fresh start,” continued Oden, his left eye twitching as intense cramps seized every muscle in his body. “That’s all.”
Despite possessing a $3.2 million taxpayer mid-level exception for next season, the Heat were said to propose a one-year, $1 million contract to Oden, who responded by forcefully clenching his fists amid what appeared to be some sort of full-body spasm. Sources added that on two separate occasions during the negotiations, Oden stopped speaking mid-sentence, shut his eyes, and inhaled deeply before continuing.
“Honestly, I’ve never felt more motivated to play basketball,” Oden said as a fresh burst of agonizing pain reportedly rushed through both of his knees. “I’m really determined to make the best of this opportunity to get my career back on track.”
According to reports, Oden later began repeatedly shifting in his chair, hurriedly muttering “Yep, yep, yep” and “Uh-huh, uh-huh, got it” as Spoelstra explained in detail how the former number one overall draft pick would figure into Miami’s motion offense.
However, while assistant coach David Fizdale subsequently laid out various four-out/one-in schemes in which Oden could play alongside the team’s perimeter shooters, the 7-footer is said to have sat perfectly still, reportedly terrified that with even the slightest movement, the intense throbbing would cause him to black out.
At one point, sources said Oden looked upward as beads of sweat poured down his face and softly whispered, “You can do this.”
“I can’t wait to show you how much my low-post game has improved,” said Oden, adding that he needed “a few minutes alone to get ready” before his scheduled workout for the Heat and various other NBA teams. “I’ve been working really hard, and I’m 100 percent ready to—Jesus fucking Christ—excuse me, I mean to say I’m 100 percent ready to play at the highest level.”
Sources confirmed that immediately after the Heat staff exited the room, Oden sank into his chair, put his face into his hands, and began violently sobbing.