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Old 04-30-2007, 05:09 AM   #1
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Unhappy Article: Odom is sad and hurting; really wants to be a Laker for life

Quote:
Odom perseveres, but time may be running out
Bill Plaschke

8:34 PM PDT, April 29, 2007

A huge white T-shirt hangs prominently in Lamar Odom's Staples Center locker.

It serves not as clothing, but as a memorial.

On the shirt is a drawing of the smiling face of Odom's infant son Jayden, who was 6 months old last summer when he died suddenly in his crib.

Odom walked to that shirt Sunday afternoon with a sigh.

"Life is pain," he said.

He had just finished throwing his aching body around the court for 35 minutes in the Lakers' 113-100 playoff loss to the Phoenix Suns. Now he was going to do something even more difficult.

He was going to get dressed.

As he gingerly pulled up his pants, he gasped. As he carefully stretched into his shirt, he groaned.

When he finally turned around to face the media, he apologized for the giant beads of sweat that still rolled off his face. Some of it was from the game. But some of it was from that pain.

He took a giant swig of grape juice from a bottle. He stared into the distance and winced.

"It is what it is," Odom said.

Except when it's something much more.

As the Lakers predictably fell behind three games to one in an NBA first-round series that should end Wednesday in Phoenix, Odom's story was about more than his 17 second-half points and 10 second-half rebounds.

It was about more than how he fought through three injuries that would sideline most men — torn shoulder labrum, hyperextended elbow, sore knee — to make plays and lead cheers.

It was even about more than how, in the wake of great personal strife, he has had an extraordinary season that should rank among the most heartfelt in Lakers history.

Sunday was about all of those things, but none of those things.

Because Sunday was mostly about how Lamar Odom may be doing them for the Lakers for the last time.

This team will change. It has to change. As anyone watching Sunday will agree, the Lakers have become the Denvers and Minnesotas of the NBA, only with cooler uniforms.

As constructed, they are capable of making the playoffs and stealing a game or two, but nothing more.

As constructed, Kobe Bryant needs some all-star help.

And perhaps the best person to be traded for that help is Odom, who, because his style clashes with Bryant's, may have more value somewhere else.

And that's a shame, because, as Sunday again proved, no Laker has inspired more.

"I love it here, I hope I have done enough to prove that I belong here the rest of my career," he said while walking slowly to his car. "But as a team, sometimes you get stuck between a rock and a hard place. We're expected to win, and we haven't won, and they're going to do everything they can to get back to winning."

If this means dealing Odom, then his last act as a Laker would fittingly be the tossing of his bulky black elbow brace across the court as he walked off in disgust.

He was mad at his body, which was so tightly covered in pads and tape Sunday that, once, he actually was called for delay of game when he couldn't get his armor fitted in time.

"I was wrapped up like a mummy out there," he said, shaking his head.

He was mad at his team for not competing at Thursday night's level, for reverting to the attitude that last week caused him to publicly ask for more camaraderie.

"We had our chance, and we just didn't take it," he said. "They just beat us. They just played better basketball."

Finally, mostly, he was mad at a season that has never seemed to end.

"It's been one thing after another," he said.

The only consistent was that Odom never stopped working.

He could have disappeared after the death of his son. He didn't.

He could have walked away after tearing his shoulder. He wouldn't.

He could have stayed on the bench Sunday after injuring his elbow Thursday. Not a chance.

"We get taken care of very well to do something we love," he said. "Because of that, you have a responsibility to your coaches and your team to go out there and play."

So Sunday, he played, even with an elbow so sore he couldn't straighten it on free throws, making just two of six.

You could see him grimace with each shot. You could see him bite his lip with every collision.

He made just one basket in the first half while struggling with two fouls, and he wondered if he should leave. But he refused, and if his second half was his final half as a Laker, it was a hearty farewell indeed.

In one stretch, he scored six consecutive points on drives to the basket, keeping the Lakers close. Another time, he painfully raised his arms to lead the crowd in a chant of, "Dee-fense, dee-fense."

He had as many assists in the second half — three — as the three Laker ballhandling guards had in the entire game combined.

He had more second-half rebounds — 10 — than any other Laker had for the entire game.

"It's like his body doesn't matter, it's all about the team," said Ronny Turiaf. "He never says anything about the pain, but we all see it, every day, we see him being a leader."

It was not enough, of course. Until the Lakers add more pieces, it will never be enough.

"My grandmother told me that you are always either coming into a storm, in the middle of a storm, or coming out of a storm," Odom said.

And where are you?

"I guess I'm in the middle of one," he said, pausing. "But I'm coming out."

He only hopes he will still be wearing a Lakers uniform when he does.

http://www.latimes.com/sports/column...a-news-columns

LO has heart. LO wants to win. Hes a great human being and teammate. As you all know, I've been huge Lamar fan. I'd hate to see him go BUT I cant be patient anymore. Clock is ticking for the organization to start winning and if it means getting a star, then so be it.

If management can somehow land someone like JO in a package that contains Bynum/picks/fillers/expirers...I'd be delighted because I think Odom can succeed here...just not as a second option scorer.

Last edited by hotsizzle : 04-30-2007 at 05:15 AM.
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Old 04-30-2007, 05:26 AM   #2
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Default Re: Article: Odom is sad and hurting; really wants to be a Laker for life

You can say what you want, but the only one playing with heart yesterday was him, he got the crowd involved, he made some beautiful drives to the basket,... If only all of the Lakers were like that
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Old 04-30-2007, 05:41 AM   #3
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Default Re: Article: Odom is sad and hurting; really wants to be a Laker for life

wow
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Old 04-30-2007, 06:11 AM   #4
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Default Re: Article: Odom is sad and hurting; really wants to be a Laker for life

Look.

Lamar is a great guy and has been through a lot in his life and has more character than most NBA players can only dream of having and I understand why you all like him so much because he's a very likeable player.

But....it's bussines after all.

And it's in the best interest of Lakers to trade him..

So I won't lie...

Goooooodbye Lamar

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Old 04-30-2007, 06:13 AM   #5
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Default Re: Article: Odom is sad and hurting; really wants to be a Laker for life

Quote:
Originally Posted by Liberalo
Look.

Lamar is a great guy and has been through a lot in his life and has more character than most NBA players can only dream of having and I understand why you all like him so much because he's a very likeable player.

But....it's bussines after all.

And it's in the best interest of Lakers to trade him..

So I won't lie...

Goooooodbye Lamar


The party-emoticon is really bothering me... :rollingeyes:
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Old 04-30-2007, 06:25 AM   #6
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Default Re: Article: Odom is sad and hurting; really wants to be a Laker for life

The NBA is bussines after all. It does sound like Odom's aware that he didn't make the difference and will be gone.

In the name of that I can only...



I know thiere's a sad tone to this topic because of what Odom has gone through in his life but I'm a fan of the Lakers, sorry.
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Old 04-30-2007, 09:34 AM   #7
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Default Re: Article: Odom is sad and hurting; really wants to be a Laker for life

lets give the man his due for giving us his all no questions asked.

I agree that he isn't the 2nd option.

But lets give him his due.
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Old 04-30-2007, 10:08 AM   #8
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Default Re: Article: Odom is sad and hurting; really wants to be a Laker for life

Quote:
Originally Posted by laker4life
You can say what you want, but the only one playing with heart yesterday was him, he got the crowd involved, he made some beautiful drives to the basket,... If only all of the Lakers were like that

I thought Kobe's 31-9-7 showed heart.
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Old 04-30-2007, 10:33 AM   #9
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Default Re: Article: Odom is sad and hurting; really wants to be a Laker for life

I just hope we can find a way to keep him and acquire the talent for this Laker team that we need.


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Old 04-30-2007, 11:18 AM   #10
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Default Re: Article: Odom is sad and hurting; really wants to be a Laker for life

Quote:
Originally Posted by lovethetriangle
lets give the man his due for giving us his all no questions asked.

I agree that he isn't the 2nd option.

But lets give him his due.

Agree with that.

He's wrong for this team but has shown heart, character, determination and was a model teammate for as long as he's been here.

One of the most likeable players in the league.

That's true. I see why everyone like him.

But for God's sake, how blind you have to be not see that he's bad for this team? He is. He's a misfit. He's bad.
Take of your purple and gold glasses and remove that brain from your heart back into your head and see what it's all about. Odom must leave, it's that freaking simple.
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Old 04-30-2007, 12:05 PM   #11
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Default Re: Article: Odom is sad and hurting; really wants to be a Laker for life

Quote:
Originally Posted by Liberalo
Look.

Lamar is a great guy and has been through a lot in his life and has more character than most NBA players can only dream of having and I understand why you all like him so much because he's a very likeable player.

But....it's bussines after all.

And it's in the best interest of Lakers to trade him..

So I won't lie...

Goooooodbye Lamar


Yep like I said, if trading him is for the better, then goodbye Lamar.
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Old 04-30-2007, 12:09 PM   #12
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Default Re: Article: Odom is sad and hurting; really wants to be a Laker for life

Lamar has shown us a lot lately, and needs to bring it like this
all the time. And there lies the problem. He sometimes is not
selfish enough and tries to set up teammates too much. Not the
worst fault I guess.

But for $13 million, we really do need a more consistent player.

Only Jerry West could pull off a blockbuster trade to get us another
top-10 player. Bring him back!!!!!!!

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Old 04-30-2007, 02:14 PM   #13
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Default Re: Article: Odom is sad and hurting; really wants to be a Laker for life

If we can get a star where a team only demands Bynum I would then Keep odom.


For example, Kwame and vlad and Bynum for JO.

Then have lamar as the third scoring option while he rebounds and assists Kobe and JO.

I wouldn't mind that. I would absolutely love for Lamar to stay if we got an allstar without trading him.

That article makes you want to cry. He does everything right but would still have to leave.
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Old 04-30-2007, 05:17 PM   #14
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Default Re: Article: Odom is sad and hurting; really wants to be a Laker for life

Quote:
Originally Posted by laker4life
You can say what you want, but the only one playing with heart yesterday was him, he got the crowd involved, he made some beautiful drives to the basket,... If only all of the Lakers were like that

I noticed that also. When there was a dead ball in the 2nd or 3rd I think, he just starting trying to pump up the crowd.
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Old 04-30-2007, 05:26 PM   #15
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Default Re: Article: Odom is sad and hurting; really wants to be a Laker for life

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...I'd be delighted because I think Odom can succeed here...just not as a second option scorer.

Pretty much sums up how I feel about the guy. Odom is like the Ultimate roleplayer, he would be great for any team to have, he just doesn't fill the giant void that exists with this squad. I see Odom as the type of player that will never win a ring. Hes not good enough to take a team there by himself, but hes too good to fit on any team that has a chance because of how much hes worth. I wish hed take a pay cut and we had more to work with so we could keep him and add around him and Kobe, but I dont see that happening.
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