PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -Injured center Greg Oden was reprimanded by the Portland Trail Blazers for playing in a pickup game at a neighborhood gym.
``We called him and we told him he can't do that,'' coach Nate McMillan said Friday.
Oden, the top pick in last year's draft, is out for the season after microfracture surgery on his right knee. He said he played two games Wednesday night when he was at the fitness center with friends.
``I was going to play one, but I lost the first one,'' the 7-footer said.
McMillan called Oden's actions ``pretty innocent,'' but the coach wanted Oden to know he must avoid risky situations.
``He's a young man,'' McMillan said. ``He wants to be the same young man as when he came here. And he's not. He's got too much value.''
Oden said he didn't dunk eight or 10 times, as was reported on an Internet forum. But he did get in a few - and he didn't need to jump.
``It was a 9-foot goal, so it was pretty easy to dunk on,'' he said.
Oden seemed surprised at the attention the game received. About a dozen reporters and television crews showed up to talk to him after practice Friday.
``I don't think he thought he was doing anything wrong, and I'm sure he was trying to protect himself,'' McMillan said. ``But he just can't do that.''
Oden played one season at Ohio State before he was drafted by the Blazers in June. Knee surgery in September shut down his rookie season before it started.
He recently started participating in light drills with the team but will not play this season or in a summer league, McMillan said. The plan is to make sure there are no setbacks so he can start training camp in October.
The Blazers (38-35) host Charlotte on Saturday night.
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