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Greg Oden Wants to Be a Dentist

May 20, 2007 – 11:28 AM
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Michael David Smith

Michael David Smith %BloggerTitle%

One of the refreshing things about Greg Oden, who will almost certainly be the first pick in the NBA draft no matter who wins the lottery, is that he doesn't seem particularly impressed with himself. He seems to view his basketball skills as just an accident of genetics, not a trait that makes him a superior human being.

And that is most evident when he talks about his NBA future, as he did in an ESPN interview this morning. Without fail, when he's asked whether being a professional basketball player is a lifelong dream, Oden explains that his actual dream is to become a dentist. That's what he wanted to be as a child, and his physical size is actually a hindrance toward that dream: His hands are so big that he'd have a hard time getting them in a patient's mouth.

Oden's devotion to fighting tooth decay has been on display for as long as he's been a public figure. "I like dentistry," Oden said at the Final Four. "I just went to the dentist. It was nice." "I wanted to be a dentist back in the day," he told Men's Fitness. "I asked him what he wanted to be when he grew up, and he said a dentist," his agent Mike Conley Sr. says.

I hope Oden plays 15 years or so in the NBA, until he's 60 35. And then I hope he goes back to school, gets the undergrad degree, and moves on to dental school. Yeah, his hands are bigger than most, but a man as devoted to teeth as Oden is shouldn't miss his true calling in life.
Filed under: Sports