Oden said the pictures were taken about 1 1/2 years ago with his cell phone and sent to a former girlfriend. A friend alerted the 21-year-old former No. 1 pick that they were being passed around the Web, prompting the admission.
"I would like to apologize to everybody: Portland, the fans, the organization," Oden told reporters at the Blazers practice facility. "It was very embarrassing."
The difference between most of us and Oden as that we're not under the same media scrutiny, the same ever-present digital eye in the sky. It's hard to believe that in this day and age, someone of Oden's stature would open the door for this type of event to happen.
He was an All-Everything recruit, the toast of the college basketball town and the subject of far too many "old man' jokes. He had to have known that he'd be a target.
By snapping pictures of his manhood, he painted a giant bullseye on his uncovered chest. And by willingly sending them out, he essentially pulled the trigger.
In a radio interview, Oden talked about his emotions when the news was brought to his attention.
"I've had better days ... I got woken up at 6 am by a phone call to check it out ... I saw them and my heart just dropped," Oden said. "It was a rough morning for me."
This particular bad day comes after two lost seasons to injuries, far from the start to an NBA career the big man hoped for.
There will be the argument that this isn't news. In the most traditional and ideal sense, no it's not. But this is where we are. We're not going back.
Hopefully, athletes will learn from this. Hell, we all can.
Most of us are already sanitizing our Facebook profile, eliminating the most embarassing of photos. As our privacy shrinks, our vigilance has no choice but to grow.
It'd be nice for this to get filed under the victimless "youthful indescretion" file and for people to move on.
They probably won't.
Not for a while.
Again, that's sort of where we are.
We're probably not going back.
Oden probably wishes he could just that, and not open the door for this kind of unwanted attention.