Du­rant: Oft-in­jured Oden ‘not a bust’

Baltimore Sun - - NBA NHL COLLEGE BASKETBALL - News ser­vices AP

War­riors su­per­star Kevin Du­rant has a mes­sage for Greg Oden, who told ESPN last week that he’ll “be re­mem­bered as the big­gest bust in NBA his­tory.”

“That’s non­sense," Du­rant adamantly said on the net­work Sun­day night. “In or­der for you to be a bust, you have to ac­tu­ally play. He didn’t get a chance to.”

Oden and Du­rant were taken No. 1 and No. 2 in the 2007 NBA draft by the Trail Blaz­ers and Seat­tle Su­perSon­ics. Oden missed his en­tire rookie sea­son after un­der­go­ing mi­crofrac­ture surgery on his knee. Mul­ti­ple knee in­juries led to mul­ti­ple sur­gi­cal pro­ce­dures, cut­ting his ca­reer short.

“He’s not a bust, Du­rant said. “He just didn’t play a long time be­cause of in­juries, and that’s just what it is. When he did play, he was a force.”

Former Heat guard Mario Chalmers is on tar­get to be cleared for full basketball ac­tiv­ity this week, eight months after rup­tur­ing his right Achilles ten­don. ... The Rap­tors’ DeMar DeRozan and Rock­ets’ James Har­den were named Eastern and Western Con­fer­ence play­ers of the week for the week end­ing Sun­day. DeRozan av­er­aged 34.7 points per game, while Har­den av­er­aged 27 points, 14.3 as­sists and 9.7 re­bounds.

NHL meet­ings are set for this week to dis­cuss whether the league will par­tic­i­pate in the 2018 Olympics in South Korea.

League of­fi­cials will meet with the In­ter­na­tional Ice Hockey Fed­er­a­tion on Wed­nes­day in New York. Deputy com­mis­sioner Bill Daly said the NHL hopes to learn if any trac­tion has been gained be­tween the IIHF and the In­ter­na­tional Olympic Com­mit­tee with re­gard to po­ten­tial stick­ing points, in­clud­ing money is­sues. NHL of­fi­cials have ex­pressed con­cerns that the IOC is not will­ing to cover out-of-pocket pay­ments it took care of at the last five Olympics.

NHL Com­mis­sioner Gary Bettman said those costs were up­ward of $10 mil­lion dur­ing a two-week hia­tus next sea­son.

“I can’t imag­ine the NHL own­ers are will­ing to pay for the priv­i­lege of shut­ting down for 17 days,” Bettman said. “I just don’t see that.”

Bettman said a de­ci­sion would need to be made on the Pyeongchang Games by early Jan­uary at the lat­est.

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