<
>

Blazers concerned about Oden's weight gain from working out

PHILADELPHIA -- Greg Oden might be too pumped up for his
eventual NBA debut.

Oden is doing what most people with too much idle time tend to
do: gain weight. Only Oden is bulking up instead of fattening up
and the No. 1 overall pick may be too buff, too fast.

"We don't want him to get bigger. That's going to come,''
Portland coach Nate McMillan said on Friday night. "It's very easy
for him to put a lot of weight on having a year off. We've really
got to be careful about the weight training with him.''

Oden, who will miss this season after he had knee surgery, was
in the weight room Friday night before the Trail Blazers played the
Philadelphia 76ers, sculpting his upper body. The 7-footer looked
chiseled and has gained nearly 30 pounds of muscle -- all in the
upper body -- since he was drafted. He is up to 280 pounds.

That's too much weight to carry on a surgically repaired knee
and McMillan is mildly concerned.

"I would much rather have him be wiry strong than bulky,
especially coming off a surgery,'' McMillan said. "When you're
talking about putting on extra weight and having to carry that
weight on a surgically repaired leg, that's not good. We want to be
really careful with the weight training with him.''

Oden, who only recently shed his crutches, can't run and is
limited to cardio work or pumping iron. McMillan said the change in
the physique has been noticeable and wants Oden to back off just a
bit and work more on being toned than having his muscles pop out of
his suit.

McMillan envisions a build more like David Robinson or Alonzo Mourning than a Karl Malone.

"We want him to be quick and athletic as opposed to bulky and
big,'' McMillan said.

Oden, who averaged 15.7 points and 9.6 rebounds last season as a
freshman at Ohio State, is traveling with the Trail Blazers so he
can get a feel for the grind of the NBA season. McMillan said
Oden's rehabilitation is going well and he should be set for next
year

"I think he understands where he's at and everything that goes
along with that,'' McMillan said.