PORTLAND, Ore. -- Nude photos of Greg Oden surfaced online Tuesday.
The photos show the multimillion dollar, first-round draft pick for the Portland Trail Blazers holding a cell phone that he is aiming at a mirror in order to snap the pictures himself. The self-portraits show Oden with his pants down and genitalia exposed.
At a press conference Tuesday, Oden said he took the photos over a year-and-a-half ago and they were only meant to be seen by a woman he was dating. He doesn't know how or why they had surfaced online, on several blogs, Tuesday. Oden said now, more than anything, he's extremely embarrassed for himself and for his family.
"I would like to apologize to everybody: Portland, the fans, the organization," Oden told reporters at the Blazers practice facility. "It was very embarrassing." Raw: Watch entire Greg Oden interview
"It was very, very embarrassing and hurtful... It was a lady friend I was having a relationship with, it was just for her. It was definitely meant to keep private," he said.
Oden added that he's doing his best to learn from this difficult situation.
"I've definitely learned a lot since it happened... over year and a half ago... I've definitely matured since then and none of that stuff has been going on," he said. "You have to be careful with what you do and who you trust and who you think things are private with... You have to grow from it and learn from these type of situations."
Oden said was taken by surprise by the photos circulating the Web Tuesday, and learned about it after someone informed him that morning and showed him a Google graph that described the surge of page views as "volcanic."
A law firm representing Oden sent a letter to an unnamed Internet Technology department stating that the "indecent content hosted on your site depicting our client, Greg Oden, are unauthorized publications under both state and federal laws."
The letter formally demanded that "any and all such content depicting [Oden]" immediately be removed. The letter neither confirmed nor denied the authenticity of the photos.
Oden would not go into detail about who initially leaked the photos, only to say it may have been "a lady friend" with whom he had a past relationship. Oden warned fans and young people to be careful about whom you can trust.
The star center is out for this season after fracturing his left kneecap during a game against the Houston Rockets on Dec. 5. He averaged 11.1 points and 8.5 rebounds in 21 starts.
Among the blogs publishing the photos was the Huffington Post (Warning: link contains explicit content).