With all due respect to Terry and Crawford, the man who David Stern should present the Sixth Man award to is Lamar Odom. The do everything Point Forward of the Lakers has done it all this season and is perhaps in the midst of the best season of his 11-year career.
Odom has been nothing short of great this season, whether it be as a starter or as the leader of The Renegades. The Candyman has averaged 14.3 points, 8.7 rebounds and 3 assists per contest for the World Champs. Odom has also been efficient, shooting a career best 54 percent from the field.
Yes, Odom’s stats are great, but perhaps his true value outweighs those stats. Odom has been a true professional, as he has been willing to take a backseat to the star of Pau Gasol and the potential of Andrew Bynum for the past few seasons, something many players wouldn’t do. But when Odom has been called upon to step up, he has been ready.
Lakers coach Phil Jackson recently spoke of the value of Odom to the Lakers.
“He’s been very productive, it’s invaluable. We made a decision as an organization two years ago to sign Lamar, which put us into a difficult cap situation, yet we were convinced that without him we wouldn’t win a championship again. That was a good decision by the organization,” The Zen Master said.
Odom has played like this in the past, but what sets this season apart is his consistency. In a season of many ups and downs for the champs, Odom has been one of the constants, at times even being the most consistent Laker.
Odom’s effort in the Lakers’ thrilling triple-overtime victory over the Suns is the perfect example of his great season. Odom had a monster performance scorching the Suns with 29 points, 16 rebounds and 5 assists in an astonishing 55 minutes on the floor. All while stepping in while Andrew Bynum served his suspension.
After the game, Kobe Bryant stated that Odom has his vote for Sixth Man and come time to vote, Bryant shouldn’t be alone. After being one of the major all star snubs this season, winning the league’s Sixth Man of the Year award would give Odom the individual accolade he deserves.
Even after taking your forum blue and gold glasses off, the clear view is that Odom is the league’s best sub. Yes, Terry and Crawford have been very good, but Odom has equaled their production and then some. Many expect to see purple and gold confetti for a third straight season and Odom is one of the major reasons why. The championship could be won in June, but for now it appears that Odom will finally get some hardware for his individual efforts.