Former No. 1 pick Greg Oden plays and dunks in first NBA game since 2009

"It just kind of relaxes you if you can get a dunk," Oden says.
Posted By Evan Bleier   |  Jan. 16, 2014 at 9:03 AM
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Even though the Miami Heat lost on Wednesday night to the Wizards 114-97 at the Verizon Center in Washington D.C., there were still some smiles after the game because of the return of center Greg Oden.

The former No. 1 pick made his first regular-season appearance since 2009 and ended Wednesday’s game with six points and two rebounds in just over eight minutes of action in the second and third quarters.

Oden converted during the first offensive possession while he was on the floor with a dunk -- after being listed for every regular-season game before Wednesday as "Inactive List (Knee Rehabilitation)."

"We've been talking about progressing him for about the last two and a half, three weeks," said coach Erik Spoelstra. "As soon as we went down 30, might as well reward him for the work he's put in.”

The Heat signed Oden to a one-year free-agent contract on Aug. 7; he was out of the NBA last season.

"It just kind of relaxes you if you can get a dunk," Oden said. "But I wish we could have won.”

Oden’s activation likely had something to do with the Heat trading center Joel Anthony to the Boston Celtics earlier in the day.

"I had no idea he was playing actually, until he was getting dressed," said teammate LeBron James. "I'm happy for him and hopefully he can continue to [make] strides. He was pretty good for us. He has no pressure. Whatever he can give us with his time on the floor is going to be a plus."

[Sun Sentinel] [Sports Illustrated]

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