Jabari Parker And The History Of Top Picks Recovering From Injury

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Jan 17, 2014; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Miami Heat center Greg Oden (20) watches from the bench during the first quarter against the Philadelphia 76ers at the Wells Fargo Center. The Heat defeated the Sixers 101-86. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Greg Oden, Center, Portland Trailblazers, 2007 #1 Pick. 

A player that is now seemingly synonymous with “NBA injury list”, Greg Oden was once seen as a can’t-miss prospect–one that was guaranteed to bring his team rampant success, if not outright championships.

His size and athleticism were and dream and his polished offensive game drew comparisons to Hakeem Olajuwon himself. You don’t just throw out comparisons to “The Dream” idly. Oden seemed worthy of all the hype and praise.

But before he even played a single NBA minute Oden underwent micro-fracture surgery to repair his ailing right knee. He would miss his entire rookie season.

In his NBA debut Oden was forced to leave due to a foot injury. Following that injury Oden was on and off the infirmary list with various injuries–most forcing him to miss weeks at a time.

Despite the injuries Oden played in 61 games his rookie season and showed glimpses of potential (should he remain healthy) stardom.

Oden got off to a great start to his sophomore campaign–showing improvement in most areas of his game from his rookie effort and he began to look like the star everyone pegged him as being.

Pre-Injury Stats: 11.1 ppg, 8.5 rpg, 2.3 apg, .605% shooting.

Pretty good stuff. Certainly numbers befitting a young, potentially dominant center.

Unfortunately for Oden and the Blazers he suffered yet another knee injury early into his sophomore season.

He never played another minute with the Blazers.

After three years of surgeries, rehabs, and more surgeries, and more rehabs, Oden finally resurfaced with the Miami Heat for the 2013-14 season.

His numbers, without question, mark the absolute worst case scenario for young Jabari Parker.

Post-Injury Stats: 2.9 ppg, 2.3 rpg, .6 bpg, .551% shooting.

Like Adam Morrison, Oden competed for a championship in his third season; however, unlike Morrison–Oden’s Heat (LeBron, Wade, and Bosh’s, Heat really) were defeated in the Finals.

That defeat in the finals leaves not a single positive trait from Oden’s career. (I’m assuming of course, we won’t be happy with NBA runners-up in Parker’s tenure).

Furthermore it presents the worst-case scenario from an injury-prone standpoint. If Jabari Parker’s career takes on any semblance of Oden’s I will drown in a pond of my own tears.

Jabari Outlook: Worst case scenario imaginable. 

Next: The Poster Child