Greg Oden should have seen it coming. As the coverboy for the upcoming video game "College Hoops 2K8," the former Ohio State star and No. 1 NBA draft pick joins a suprisingly long line of hard-luck 2K Sports endorsers.
NCAA College Basketball 2K3
Pre-Cover: Player of the year at Duke, where his jersey was retired; No. 2 pick in the 2002 NBA Draft.
Post-Cover: Fractured pelvis, tore three knee ligaments and severed a leg nerve in a 2003 motorcycle accident; later waived by the Bulls; returned to pro basketball in 2006 but waived by the Nets and the D-League Toros.
ESPN College Hoops (2K4)
Pre-Cover: College player of the year as a sophomore; led Texas to the school's first Final Four since 1947; joined Earl Campbell, Ricky Williams and Roger Clemens as the only Texas athletes to have their jerseys retired.
Post-Cover: Missed much of his rookie season and all of the next year after suffering a spinal cord contusion; later traded from Milwaukee to Toronto, where he helped the Raptors reach last season's playoffs.
ESPN College Hoops 2K5
Pre-Cover: Smooth swingman named PAC-10 Player of the Year and first-team All-America as a Stanford junior.
Post-Cover: Drafted by Atlanta Hawks, modest 10.8 ppg NBA career average; missed part of last season with a stress fracture in his foot.
Raymond Felton/Roy Williams
College Hoops 2K6
Pre-Cover: Led North Carolina to the 2005 national championship as a junior, first title in Williams' coaching career.
Post-Cover: Felton drafted by Bobcats, where he now toils in near-total obscurity; Williams' favored Tar Heels lost to George Mason in second round of 2006 NCAA tourney.
College Hoops 2K7
Pre-Cover: Shooter/poet finished as Duke's all-time leading scorer and was college player of the year as a senior.
Post-Cover: Arrested for drunk driving prior to 2006 NBA draft (fun fact: prosecuted by Mike Nifong!); hampered by recurring back injury during forgettable NBA rookie season.
College Hoops 2K8 Pre-Cover: Widely considered the next great NBA big man. Post-Cover: We won't mention Sam Bowie, but when was the last time your heard the term "microfracture" in a good context?
Patrick Hruby is a columnist for Page 2. Sound off to Patrick here.