Interview: Blazers' Oden discusses photos

Portland Trail Blazers center Greg Oden addressed the media Tuesday evening at the team’s practice facility in Tualatin, Ore.


First, I would like to apologize to everybody: Portland, fans, the organization. It was very embarrassing. It was something that happened over a year and a half ago. … And I’m very sorry, and I’m definitely embarrassed for my family and everybody around me.

On his reaction to the photos:

My heart dropped. I got a phone call, like, around 6 a.m. this morning. And I usually hear I got pictures of me all over the Internet, even when they’re not true. And so when I actually got up and saw this one, it was very, very embarrassing and hurtful.

On the circumstances of the photos:

It was a ladyfriend who (I) was having a relationship with. It was just for her; it was definitely meant to keep private.

On what he hopes to learn:

I definitely learned a lot since it happened. Like I said, it was over a year and a half ago. I definitely matured since then, and none of that stuff has been going on. I just feel you have to be careful with what you do and who you trust.

On whether it’s hard to deal with considering the changes he’s made in his life since he took the photos:

That’s definitely tough. You never really want to look back at stuff like that. You definitely just have to grow from it and learn from it and get through these types of situations.

On how he feels about someone doing this to him:

I’m very embarrassed. I’m more embarrassed than anything. I definitely am very, very sorry for embarrassing my family and this organization, and it’s something that I want to move away from.

On what coach Nate McMillan and general manager Kevin Pritchard told him:

He basically said the thing that he told me a long time ago: That we’re public figures. Even if we go out to eat, people are going to be looking at us. So, you definitely have to be careful with that type of stuff and learn from it.

On comparing this situation to his other struggles:

It was very difficult and, like I said, very embarrassing. Something you never really want to think about or go through. But it happened; I have to definitely grow from it and move on.

On his teammates’ reaction:

A couple of ’em called me, just to ask me about it. But they were pretty lighthearted about it — made a couple of jokes. I know I’m going to get it from a lot of people.

On how the pictures ended up on the Web:

I have no idea on how they ended up online, actually.

On whether he still associates with the person he sent the photos to:

No, I do not.

On whether he is blown away by how new social media can spread things such as this:

Yeah, it’s definitely tough. Especially with things like that going on. It just shows how stuff like that happens and how fast it goes. Somebody gave me a graph of my Google since it happened, at 5 a.m. to 11 a.m., and the rate said volcanic.

On people who say he should have used more foresight or been more responsible:

I think I’m trying to be by coming out and definitely letting people know, like, it was something in the past and it was definitely meant for private reasons. And I’ve definitely learned from that a long time ago, and I just want to move on from it.

On his feelings:

It’s something that happened, and it was definitely my fault. I definitely shouldn’t have put myself out there like that. And I have to learn from that and be careful — knowing the type of status that I do have, I definitely have to be careful and move on.

On what he would say to children about the incident:

I would definitely tell them that it’s an example that you have to be careful with who you do that with. Knowing a lot of kids my age and even younger do this, they can use me as an example that you do not want to get caught, or you have to definitely be careful with who you trust and who you put stuff out there with.

On whether it’s frustrating to have to deal with this and address the media about it:

It’s very frustrating. Like I said, it’s very embarrassing, but it’s something that needed to done.

On the decision to address the issue:

I feel and us as a group —people around me feel — that it is the best for us just to come out and get it all out in the open and hear it from me before people start to talk and make up other stuff.

On the distraction and complicating his rehabilitation:

Focusing on my rehabilitation — there’s no distraction. I’m going to keep on doing what I need to do to get myself back. This is just a little mental thing that I have to deal with and get it over with.

On taking legal action:

I really just want to move on from it. Definitely try as hard as possible to get them off the Internet. But to go that far, I really don’t think there’s (any) need to — just put it behind us.

On where he is at in his rehab:

I actually started doing more. Today is supposed to be the first day that I’m doing more. I’m bending my knees down and doing a lot more with just getting my quad back.

On his last checkup with a doctor:

I had an X-ray yesterday. … He said my knee looked good. It’s healing, and that’s when he cleared me to do more in my rehabilitation.

On using basketball as a positive:

Definitely, but for me, I just have to focus on my rehab and getting back. And actually, (athletic trainer) Jay Jensen’s been waiting — he has a wife and a family — and so I’ll take one more question.

On what kind of lasting impact this will have on his reputation:

It’s going to have a lot. Definitely with sponsors and stuff. But I know it was a thing of the past, and I know I’ve grown from this and I’m definitely still a really good guy and I’m going to keep putting that out there. And even if it involves other people, I just hope they learn you’ve got to be careful with what you do and who you trust.

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