After the Chris Paul trade fell through before the beginning of this shortened NBA season, the Los Angeles Lakers were faced with quite a few dilemmas. The worst of which was the mindset of reigning Sixth Man of the Year Lamar Odom and four-time All-Star Pau Gasol. The Spanish forward was handling almost being traded and the constant trade rumors to follow as well as any player ever has in the NBA, but Odom on the other hand was hurt and shocked that the Lakers were willing to trade him.
The result of the failed blockbuster deal resulted in almost an immediate trade with Lamar Odom supposedly wanting out of Los Angeles. Ironically enough, the versatile forward was dealt to the defending NBA champion Dallas Mavericks. The same team that beat the Lakers convincingly in last year’s playoffs and in which Odom was thrown out for a flagrant foul on Dirk Nowitzki.
Despite publicly missing his former team and wishing that he was back in L.A., Odom had to start anew with another championship caliber team. As usual, Odom was set to come off the bench in Dallas, but had nowhere near the same success.
It has been obvious that Lamar Odom just hasn’t been himself during his short time with the Dallas Mavericks and that was never more apparent than last night against his former team. With just one point and two rebounds, Odom was a complete nonfactor in the loss to the Lakers (109-93), but got some support from a good friend in Kobe Bryant via Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas.com:
“It’s tough,” Bryant said. “He comes to a team that’s pretty much set, you know what I mean? So it’s hard for him to find his niche. The fans, they don’t really understand what he does or how he can do it, you know what I mean?
“I hope they don’t unlock that mystery. I know. I know how to use him and to use his skill set and this, that and the other. But with this team, the roster that they had being pretty much set, it’s tough for him to be able to find his groove here.”
It would be safe to say that once this season is over that the Dallas Mavericks will seriously considering buying out the rest of Lamar Odom’s contract making him a free agent. A return to the Los Angeles Lakers isn’t completely out of the question, but if he does convince his former team to sign him it will be with a huge discount compared to his current contract.