Advertisement

 TUALATIN, Ore. (AP) -Greg Oden can still dunk.
That much was clear Tuesday when the top pick in last year's NBA draft worked out in front of the media for the first time since right knee surgery wiped out his rookie season with the Portland Trail Blazers.
The 7-footer from Ohio State showed no signs of problems in two-on-two work with teammates Steve Blake and Channing Frye and former Arkansas star Steven Hill, a 7-footer invited to practice with Portland. Oden isn't allowed to go five-on-five until next month.
``I'm feeling good,'' Oden said. ``I do not have any pain or soreness in my knee.''
Asked whether he noticed Oden favoring his right knee, Frye dismissed it entirely.
``He favors dunking on your head, that's what he favors,'' Frye said after giving up his share to Oden in the workout.
Blazers fans fired up about Oden's arrival were stunned last year to learn that he needed microfracture surgery to stimulate cartilage growth by drilling tiny holes in the bone. Oden now says his right knee actually feels stronger than his left because of rehabilitation and conditioning.
The challenge at this point, he says, is mostly psychological, to stop worrying about the knee and to fulfill high expectations he knows fans have for the him and the team.
Oden is the first to admit he must start from scratch with his interrupted career.
``I'm still a rookie,'' he said. ``I know I've got to keep that in mind and try not to let all the pressure overwhelm me.''
Frye was supportive but mindful of Oden's own admission that he still lacks experience.
``For me, I don't know if this is the right thing to say, but he's yet to play in an NBA practice, he's yet to play in an NBA game, so I think the expectations are more on him personally than it is on everybody else,'' Frye said. ``We know how good he can be, but he is still a rookie.''
Frye offered the reminder that Portland also features All-Star Brandon Roy and LaMarcus Aldridge, who was named to the squad that prepared the U.S. men's national team for the Olympics.
Even without Oden last season, the Blazers were 41-41, nine games better than their 2006-07 record.
``I think a lot of people forgot how good we could have been last year,'' Frye said. ``A lot of people say this is Greg's team. I think we're a great team and Greg is just a great addition.''

Top NBA Public Bets

NBA Top Stories

Thumbnail Tim Duncan retires The San Antonio Spurs lost their franchise player on Monday, as Tim Duncan elected to retire after an amazing 19-year...
Thumbnail Rockets give Harden an extension The Houston Rockets locked up their star player for years to come, announcing an extension with James Harden on...
Thumbnail OKC's title odds plummet without Durant Following the announcement that Kevin Durant will be signing with the Golden State Warriors, the Oklahoma City Thunder's NBA title...
Thumbnail Durant heading to Golden State The shoe finally dropped in the Kevin Durant sweepstakes, as he has elected to sign with the Golden State Warriors for next...
Thumbnail Warriors now 2/3 to win title with Durant The Golden State Warriors were already favored to win the 2017 NBA Finals championship, but their odds improved even more after...
More inNBA Articles  

NBA Team Pages