The Los Angeles Lakers have a long history of hiring former players to a variety of roles, like Jerry West, whose skill as a player was nearly equaled by his skill as a general manager.
Former head coach Byron Scott was a member of the Showtime Lakers, current coach Luke Walton once threw lobs to Shaquille O’Neal, and Magic Johnson transitioned from leading the fast break to leading the team’s Basketball Operations department. Now, it appears that versatile forward Lamar Odom wants to pitch in and help the Lakers rebuild.
Odom has been attending the last few days of draft workouts at the request of Walton. While he has had more than his share of personal issues, Odom’s wealth of experience in the NBA could be a valuable asset to the organization. According to Mark Medina of the OC Register, the Lakers have stated that Odom was simply invited to watch the draft workouts. Still, it appears that Walton is including him in player discussions:
Tuesday’s gathering resembled a near reunion of the Lakers’ NBA title teams in 2009 and 2010. After the workout ended, Lakers coach Luke Walton huddled with associate coach Brian Shaw and former forward Lamar Odom.
Does that mean Odom will join Walton’s coaching staff? Odom said he hopes so, but the Lakers said Walton has simply invited Odom to observe the past two days of workouts. Nonetheless, Walton expressed openness last season about Odom helping the Lakers in some capacity.
Whether or not Odom keeps a permanent role within the Lakers organization isn’t clear, but regardless, it’s good to see him helping out. Evaluating draft prospects can be difficult and it’s usually a good idea to get as many experienced eyes on them as possible.
Additionally, if Odom does stick around, he would likely be able to give some advice to fellow-lefty Julius Randle. Kobe Bryant once called Randle, “Lamar Odom in Zach Randolph’s body”, so it would make sense for Odom himself to provide some tutoring.