It’s been quite some ride for Miami Heat center Greg Oden, a ride with its ups and downs. He has a golden opportunity to win a championship. A few years ago he would have never envisioned such an accomplishment would be possible.

This NBA Finals experience has been full of memories he says he’ll cherish for a lifetime. There’s no taking this joy away from him. This would qualify as part of the “up” times. He’s as healthy as he’s been in years thanks to the Heat medical staff and it has got him thinking he can realistically prolong his career.

“Yeah, I’m sure I’m playing again next year but honestly I haven’t even gave it much thought,” Oden told CSNNW.com Wednesday after practice. “I’m trying to concentrate on this and getting this ring first and after that, that’s part of the thought process. My body feels good. I can still play. I’ll be alright.”

Oden, 26, will be an unrestricted free agent this summer.

The “down” side of this bounce-back season has been the lack of playing time he’s received throughout the course of the season. With more teams playing a brand of small-ball, Oden has been the odd man out most nights.

The No.1 overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft says as candid as can be that he’s happy with his situation, but as far as the way he’s been used, it was a disappointment.