Lamar Odom, you will not be missed.
In early December of last year, news broke that the David Stern had vetoed a proposed three-team trade that would send Chris Paul to the Lakers, Pau Gasol to the Rockets and Lamar Odom to the Hornets among other details. The end result was Lamar Odom feeling disrespected by his team and requested that he be traded to a contending team. My Dallas Mavericks stepped up and signed Odom. What did I think of the trade? I was a bit skeptical at first. The Mavs had just won their first NBA championship and at the same time they were going through several other moves within their team. I hadn’t seen Odom play much before that but I knew that he played an important role for the Lakers in their back-to-back championship seasons. Not only that but he was the latest recipient of the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year award. So I thought “woah…we already have Jason Terry and now Odom who is just as good? This is going to be great!” and I also thought the Lakers were dumb to let him go just like that.
I wish I could use “disappointing” to describe what Odom did in his short time in Dallas. I think being disappointed would be a slight improvement. Lamar Odom has a unique set of skills that most players in the NBA don’t have but we Dallas fans only saw flashes of it. Even when Odom made an excellent play, his demeanor just seemed off all the time. His posture, his gestures, the way he interacted with the rest of the Mavs players. It just didn’t seem genuine. Even when his reality-tv famous wife Khloe Kardashian was cheering him on from the stands, it just didn’t seem like Odom wanted to be a Maverick. That’s fine with me. I don’t expect for everyone to love Dallas the way Dirk Nowitzki does. I do expect for a player to give a shit or at least APPEAR to give a shit. Lamar Odom didn’t give forth any effort to contribute to the team in any way. Apparently he was still heart-broken because he wasn’t waking up next to the beach in sunny Los Angeles. Hey Odom, join the rest of the country for just a second and stop acting like a spoiled child.
Rumor has it that among other things, the last strike for Odom was this past Sunday when the Mavericks were facing the Grizzlies in Memphis on the road. Dallas was getting absolutely clobbered in the first quarter (down by as many as 20 if I remember correctly) until they made a huge comeback midway through the second quarter. The team was pumped, everyone anxious to get out and continue the rally in a very important game. I’ll give you a second to guess the one player on the Mavs that wasn’t involved. Odom was approached by Mavs owner Mark Cuban with the question “hey man, are you in or are you out with this team?” Odom didn’t really give much a response so Cuban took that for what it was. Odom didn’t really care much for the success of the Mavericks. Once again, I’ll remind everyone that this is simply the hot rumor that floated around Dallas. I was not present in the Mavericks locker room and cannot confirm whether it’s true or not.
Early morning this past Monday April 9th it was reported that Lamar Odom would part ways with the Dallas Mavericks. Odom stated that “The Mavericks and I have mutually agreed that it’s in the best interest of both parties for me to step away from the team.” And that was it. The Odom experience came and went just like that in Dallas. I’d say about 99% of DFW-area sports fans are glad that he left. The remaining 1% are female fans that wanted Odom to play here just because it meant that a Kardashian would be at every home game. Whatever the case, Odom is no long a Maverick and I’m glad. Glad that we won’t have a quitter/diva on our team.
I wish Lamar the best with whatever NBA team he signs with. I think he’s a great player with a unique set of skills that can be an important piece on a contending team. Maybe, just maybe, Dallas fans are being too harsh on him. Maybe he just got caught up on the wrong end of things. I just hope Odom knows that his Dallas Mavericks jersey ranks as one of the worst throwback jerseys of all time. My close friends and I made a bet and the loser has to buy and wear a Lamar Odom jersey to a Mavericks game. Too harsh of a punishment?