Media Day for the Los Angeles Clippers is officially in the books with all the newest additions to the team taking pictures in their new jerseys and expressing their opinions about the upcoming season.
As arguably one most controversial and one of the most talked about players in the NBA over the past year or so, former Sixth Man of the Year and two-time NBA champion Lamar Odom had quite a bit to say. Odom talked about his former team, the depth of the current Clippers roster and Kobe Bryant.
Many believed that Odom had sore feelings towards the Los Angeles Lakers after failed Chris Paul trade and ultimately forcing his way to the Dallas Mavericks. Odom clearly had no love lost for the Lakers’ front office as he was obviously hurt by the attempt to trade him to the New Orleans Hornets.
Even though Odom probably still wishes he was wearing purple and gold on Media Day, the former Laker expressed nothing but praise for Kobe by saying the following about his former teammate according to ESPN’s Chris Palmer via Twitter:
Lamar Odom: “Kobe is still the best all-around player in the game.”
— chris palmer (@ESPNChrisPalmer) September 28, 2012
After averaging 27.9 points per game last season and proving he may have a few years left playing at an elite level, there’s little doubt that Kobe is still one of the best all-around players in the league today. ESPN’s #NBARank confirmed this after dubbing Kobe the best shooting guard in the league coming in as the sixth best overall behind Derrick Rose, Chris Paul, Dwight Howard, Kevin Durant and LeBron James.
Fortunately for Kobe, the future Hall of Famer stands to benefit more than most with the additions of Steve Nash and Howard. Kobe may still be elite, but the Lakers may no longer need to lean on him so much with the revamped roster.
The Lakers’ offense will almost certainly continue to flow through Kobe, but with Nash, Howard and Pau Gasol on the floor at the same time along with a reportedly rejuvenated Metta World Peace, the five-time NBA champion will not have to put the team on his back as he has over the last two seasons.
The pressure will definitely be off Kobe to produce 30 to 40 points a night in order to keep the Lakers competing against the best of the best in the Western Conference. The San Antonio Spurs, Oklahoma City Thunder and Clippers will be forces to be reckoned with, but Kobe will finally have some much needed help to compete as a legitimate NBA title contender once again.