When Greg Oden selected the Miami Heat as the team he wanted to play for, it made sense on the surface. You had a team that not only was going to be in prime position for a potential three-peat, but that same team was in need of a big man. It was a perfect pairing. Add in that you wouldn’t be playing in media heavy New York or Los Angeles and you had a dream scenario for Oden.
However, days after Oden signed, rumors leaked that a few teams, especially the New Orleans Hornets offered Oden more money and more years. And while not everything is about money, for a player with the injury history of Oden, one would have expected he’d have taken the most lucrative deal on the table.
Not to be the case as Oden suggested to USA Today that the medical knowledge of Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra played a part in his decision making:
“When coach Spoelstra came to Indiana, he knew a lot about what I was doing, more than a couple of trainers that I’ve met,” Oden says. “If he knew that much, just imagine what the training staff knew.”