In the off-season, the Los Angeles Clippers did what few NBA franchises wanted to do after the Dallas Mavericks took Lamar Odom off of the court because he was unfocused and unproductive in the 2011-12 season — trade for Odom.
If Fully Clips’ poll has anything to say about the situation, fans think Odom is perfect for the Los Angeles Clippers as he is the 63% choice (as of Sept. 5 at 2 a.m. CST) for the question asking who was the best off-season pick up by the Clippers. He beat out Jamal Crawford, Grant Hill, Ronny Turiaf and Willie Green.
I hope he beat out the last two.
Personally, I agree, Odom can help this team and put them to next level. But he has to do it on the court, not with previous accomplishments such as the 2011 Sixth Man of the Year Award and two NBA Championships with the Los Angeles Lakers.
The only way anyone is going to find out if he is going to work out for the franchise is if he can positively answer the questions and hush the doubters about his basketball ability and his focus. Let’s face it, a player can have all the ability in the world, but if their mind isn’t in it, neither is production.
His mind left the basketball court last season because the Lakers dealt him to a rival team in the Mavs for basically nothing. It was almost like the Lakers were handing over a high-dollar Rolex for absolutely nothing or making an attempt to pay back the league for their charity taking of Paul Gasol. I’m going with the first option.
Odom showed human emotion by clearly displaying an unease about his situation in Dallas and ultimately didn’t do anything on the court to prove different. The Mavericks eventually decided to not have him play or even sit on the bench, but kept him on the team for trade bait after the season was over.
Now he is back in LA — where he wanted to be in the first place. The problem is, he is a Clipper, not a Laker. Is this going to be another situation Odom doesn’t like and will retaliate by throwing up his arms instead of catching the ball?
Everyone in the Staples Center wearing blue, red and white hope not.
The basketball world knows what one of the most versatile players in the league can do on the court. Unfortunately for Odom, we live in a “what have you done for me lately” society and if he doesn’t come with his A-game out the gate, he could be Allen Iversoned out of the league quickly. Odom’s situation proves once again, there is no such thing as job security in the NBA unless you’re an exception such as Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant.
Another big question surrounding Odom for the upcoming season is whether he is going to be in basketball shape.
Taking a year off from NBA basketball isn’t easy to hop back into. Look at Nowitzki and Paul Pierce from last season — they only missed training camp.
Odom has been a finesse player for the duration of his career. He uses his athleticism, his speed for his size and stamina to be the type of player he is. Sitting out of NBA games to live a more normal American beer belly type of lifestyle is not going to pay any type of dividend for the Lakers or him. I’m not even saying Odom drinks beer, but sitting around the house or working out half as much as an everyday member of the NBA takes longer than a few weeks to get back to playing shape.
How dedicated is Odom to coming to the Clippers ready to play 25-to-30 minutes of great basketball four-to-five times a week?
I stand behind the Clippers 100% in their decision to get a deal done for Odom, but I do worry they could get burned in the end.