Greg Oden Apologizes for Nude Pictures
Oden indicated several times during his meeting with reporters that the pictures were taken a year and a half ago and were solely intended for "lady friend" with whom he was in a relationship at the time, adding several times that he's already learned from the mistake.
"First, I would like to apologize to everybody, Portland, fans, the organization," he told reporters before taking questions. "It was very embarrassing. It was something that happened over a year and a half ago. It was taken and sent over a year and a half ago. I'm very sorry and I'm definitely embarrassed for my family and everybody around me."
Ben Golliver of Blazers Edge has video of Oden's remarks, and Joe Freeman of The Oregonian has a full transcript.
Oden isn't sure how the pictures made their way online, but indicated he was shocked and embarrassed to see them Tuesday morning. "My heart dropped," he said. "I got a phone call like around 6 a.m. this morning and I usually have pictures of me all over the internet, even when they're not true. So when I actually got up and saw this one, it was very, very embarrassing and hurtful."
Even though Oden is confused at how the pictures emerged, he took responsibility for putting himself in a vulnerable position in the first place. "It was definitely my fault," he said. "I definitely shouldn't put myself out there like that. And I have to learn from that and be careful knowing the type of status that I do have. I definitely have to be careful and move on."
While Oden is rightfully embarrassed, at least he can take solace in the fact that he's hardly the first athlete to be, ahem, exposed on the internet. Most recently, similar photographs of Cleveland Indians center fielder Grady Sizemore surfaced in November after he claims his girlfriend's email account was hacked. Unlike Sizemore, who has pursued legal action regarding the publication of the photographs, Oden is more interested in putting this embarrassing account behind him.
"I really just want to move on from it," he said. "I'll definitely try as hard as possible to get them off the internet. But to go that far, I don't really think there's a need to. Let's just put it behind us."
As much as this incident may have fueled the Portland talk radio circuit, it's difficult imagining it will be any kind of distraction for the team, which has played without Oden since he underwent a potentially season-ending injury in early December. Oden admitted that he's already been in touch with several teammates, and expects to hear about this incident for a long time. "A couple of them called me just to ask me about it," he said. "They're pretty light-hearted, made a couple of jokes. I know I'm going to get it from a lot of people."