PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - Greg Oden can dunk, but he can't carry a tune.
The 7-foot Trail Blazer has gotten a lot of attention for his rendition of N'Sync's ``It's Gonna Be Me.'' A video of the performance has made the rounds on the Internet.
This much is clear: There's no danger of Oden testing the ``crossover'' waters a la Kobe Bryant or Ron Artest. In fact, his singing could best be likened to Chewbaca's wails in ``Star Wars.''
But it was all in good fun.
A little background: The video was shot a couple of weeks ago during a charity event, Greg Oden's Summer Slam. Portland's center is involved with Oregon Mentors, a nonprofit organization that supports youth mentoring programs.
Oden grabbed the mic to showcase his karaoke skills.
One nicer blogger suggested Oden should stick with basketball. Another said the performance popped his eardrums. Even the celebrity gossip site TMZ posted the video.
l.'' Still, Canzano praised Oden's effort for the children: ``I love that he's uninterested in looking cool, and isn't afraid to embarrass himself.''
Oden even blogged about himself.
He wrote (and the typos are his): ``People have already seen the video of me singing N'synce ``Its Gonna Be Me,'' im not gonna lie, i sound terrible. My thing was it was for the kids they enjoyed me singing so thats all that matters.''
Oden's self-effacing humor is just one of the ways he has endeared himself to Trail Blazers fans who were so elated when the team landed him with the No. 1 pick in 2007 - and then so deflated when his rookie season was postponed by knee surgery.
Oden had microfracture surgery on his right knee last September. Recovery time can take as little as six months, but the Blazers exercised caution and sat him for the season.
Despite his injury, Oden was very much a part of the Blazers last season. He was a looming presence on the bench at home games and on many road trips. In the pregame videoboard introduction of the team, his face was right there with those of Brandon Roy, LaMarcus Aldridge and the rest of his teammates.
Oden only recently started five-on-five drills with the team. He was among many players who showed up early for workouts before Portland's preseason schedule gets under way Oct. 7 at the Rose Garden Arena against the Sacramento Kings.
den is in fine form for his impending rookie season. So, while he's no singer, it won't be long before he gets to show where his real talent lies.
Let's just hope he doesn't try the national anthem.
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On the Net: Oden on Oden's performance: http://www.yardbarker.com/users/gregoden

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