PORTLAND - While reviewing MRI test results on Thursday that showed he will miss 2-4 weeks with a sprained foot, oft-injured Portland Trailblazer Greg Oden told technicians that he "really regretted" leasing his personal MRI machine instead of buying it from the dealer.
"Man, look at how many minutes I've used over the past year," Oden said, as he looked at a read-out showing how long the machine had been used for since he leased it from Rose City Medical Supply in 2007. "I am going to get killed with penalties when the lease is up next year."
Oden, the No. 1 pick by Portland in 2007 , has been plagued with a host of injuries since college and missed all of his rookie season with a knee injury. After having dealt with going to hospitals and private facilities to get frequently MRI tests in college, Oden decided to have one installed in the basement of his suburban Portland home last year after he was drafted.
Instead of spending the $1.5 million a new machine costs, Oden made the decision to lease the machine over the next few years. But Oden failed to read the fine print, which includes steep penalties for using the machine more than two hours total per year, a number he has far exceeded.
"This is how they get you - hidden costs, surcharges," Oden lamented to his team of personal MRI technicians completing his tests. "When my lease is up next year, I'm going to get hosed and then still not a machine to show for it. I should have listened to Grant."
"Grant" is NBA star Grant Hill, who recommended to Oden that he purchase a machine outright during a discussion at a chairty NBA Live event immediately after Oden was drafted.
"Buying an MRI machine was the best decision I've ever made," said Hill, whose career has frequently been derailed by injuries. "In fact, I love my MRI machine so much, that's what got me interested in creating my own."
The Grant Hill Heat Vision MRI Machine, created by Nike and Qwest Medical Devices, will debut in medical imaging catalogs and Foot Lockers in early 2009.