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Greg Oden Believes He's Bust-Proof

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"This is my basketball. There are many others like it, but this one is mine."

Greg Oden is the best thing that ever happened to the Thunder franchise — without him, the Kevin Durant experience would not have been possible in Oklahoma City.

For Blazers fans, though, Oden's stay in P-Town has been more frustrating than a David Lynch flick. Drafted No. 1 overall in 2007, Oden missed his entire first season after undergoing microfracture surgery. A year later, he appeared in 61 games for Portland and last season played in just 21 games before fracturing his left patella in December. No timetable has been set for Oden's 2010-11 debut, but there are reports that he won't be ready for opening night.

As expected, Oden's name has become synonymous with the word "bust," but Oden refuses to give in to the naysayers.

"Is there any proof that I'm a bust?" Oden said. "All there is proof of is that I have bad luck with injuries. When I was out there on the floor, I think I did pretty good for myself ... I've never really had enough time to play and actually improve. But I've prepared myself all summer to be an All Star and be as healthy as I can be and I'm going to keep doing that until I'm able to do that ... " Oden told John Freeman of The Oregonian.

Love the passion, Greg. In fact, we came up with a few other reasons why you're not a bust ...

Because this is what a bust looks like. *For those of you interested in purchasing the Bacon Kevin Bacon Bust, it is not edible!

Because the West Coast only has room for one No. 1 overall pick bust and Michael Olowokandi called first dibs.

Because you're 22 year's old and you've played in 82 games (the length of a full season). David Robinson didn't play 82 games until he was 24 years old.

See, Portland fans? Give the kid a break Take it easy on the kid. He might just surprise you one day.