Greg Oden's alcohol abuse was a concern for Miami Heat staff during his one season with the South Florida franchise, reports have revealed today.
According to Michael Wallace of ESPN the former number one draft pick privately struggled with personal issues with alcohol abuse becoming a clear worry for the Miami Heat.
As per Wallace's report:
"Alcohol abuse remained a concern last season as he sat out many games because of soreness in his knees and back. When he was left in Miami during road trips early in the season, he often was spotted at local sports bars and restaurants, including a Hooters across the street from AmericanAirlines Arena, to watch games."
Unfortunately Oden, who left the Miami Heat this summer in a far more low-key manner than that of fellow departee LeBron James, has been in the news for the wrong reasons during the NBA offseason.
The former Portland and Miami center was arrested in August for allegedly striking his ex-girlfriend in the face during an altercation at the home of the NBA star's mother. It has since been reported that Oden's issues with alcohol may have played a part in the altercation.
Oden pled not guilty to impending felony battery charges and is awaiting trial.
What the future holds
It is sad to see someone with such talent - a man who was selected to enter the NBA ahead of reigning NVP Kevin Durant in 2007 - fall to such an extent.
Injuries have played a role in crippling his NBA career to date and it looks like this has taken a real toll off the court too.
As for his future in the NBA, ODen has made it clear that he wishes to play in the 2014-15 season and was in line to workout for the LA Clippers prior to his arrest.
Oden only made his comeback to the league last season for the Heat after more that two years away through injury. It is the outcome of the charges tallied against him that could put pay to his playing days however.
With the sporting world currently dogged by domestic abuse allegations and assaults, with the NFL's Ray Rice and Adrien Peterson the center of attention, it is unlikely that many NBA teams will be willing to take a chance on the injury-prone center anytime soon.
And if the reports documenting his difficulty with alcohol (and it's impact on his game) are correct then that only adds to any potential worries on a Greg Oden scouting report.