By Dwayne Nelson — Portland Trail Blazers center Greg Oden(notes) can’t catch a break.
The 7-0 foot, 285-pound big man will miss the entire 2010-2011 NBA season after having successful microfracture surgery on his left knee.
Since being drafted the No. 1 selection in the 2007 NBA Draft, the 22-year-old Oden has played in only 82 regular season and six playoff games. He missed the entire 2007-2008 season and suited up in only 21 games last year.
But when on the floor, Oden has showed great promise and at times has been a beast on the floor. The former Ohio State University first team All-American was having his best year as a pro last season, averaging 11 points, 8.5 boards and 2.5 blocks a night. Just a game prior to him being shelved, he pulled down a career-high 20 rebounds while adding 13 points and 4 blocks for the Trail Blazers.
Oden isn’t the only big fella over the years whose had trouble staying on the court. Here are four other big guys who would’ve been more successful in the NBA if weren’t for severe or nagging injuries throughout their playing careers.