If you live in the Dallas area or are a fan of the Mavericks, you’ve probably heard that Lamar Odom has been having a rough season emotionally. He was traded from the Lakers, a team he loved. He’s been performing close to half as effectively as he did last season (14.4 ppg to 7.7, 8.7 rpg to 4.5, and his fg% is 35.7%. Seriously). He’s a versatile player, seems to be a nice guy, we all felt a little bad for him. No one likes to feel unwanted.
So when I heard that he’d be missing the game against the Lakers last Wednesday because his father had a serious illness, I didn’t think anything of it. Those things happen, personal matters do not revere the NBA schedule as much as we fans do. Let the guy take care of his dad, it’s one regular season game, and that’s that. He’ll get back to the team as soon as he can (he also had a 5 day break due to the All-Star Game).
It’s that kind of understanding that makes you feel duped in the end.
As I drove home from work Friday afternoon, feeling energetic and excited, I put on 97.9 The Beat and instead of sweet, sweet jams, I was serenaded by a quote from Lamar Odom’s father. A quote where he says he had a “stomach virus” and had been alright for a while. At first, it was almost laughable, the DJ poking fun at how Lamar couldn’t deal with playing against the Lakers. He was painted as someone who ran into his ex-girlfriend in a social situation and it broke him.
Last night, rumors started flying that Odom is desiring a buyout of his contract, presumably so that he can go back to the Lakers. My first thought was, “Let him go! He hasn’t been productive for the Mavs all season, and there hasn’t been much inclination that he will.” But the more I sat and mulled it over, there is absolutely no way the Mavericks organization could do that and save face. Instead of the probable truth, which is that Lamar likes the Hollywood aspect of playing in Los Angeles, it would appear as if the Mavericks organization is flawed.
This is a very unfair situation to place Donnie Nelson and Mark Cuban, let alone the rest of the players on his team. To be very honest, it doesn’t feel fair to the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.
Lamar, let me break it down for you:
During your toughest struggles, this city supported you. Meanwhile, your beloved Lakers organization has forgotten you. They have their eyes set on Dwight Howard, even if it’s not a feasible goal. They are cutthroat in regards to moves, and always have been. Do you really think that if you had stayed, you would be better off? You wouldn’t. Right now, you’re playing for the NBA Champions, the team that swept you out of the playoffs last year. If you were a Laker right now, you would be another piece of big man trade bait like Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol. At best, you would have sweetened a package proposed to Orlando and you would be playing there, while Kobe Bryant and Dwight team up, once again, forgetting you. They traded you for pennies. PENNIES. They are more interested in signing a retired, 37 year-old Rasheed Wallace (a former Celtic, if that says anything) than getting you back. It’s over.
I’m sure it’s tough being married to a transsexual, and I’m uncertain of logistics in such a relationship. But what LA plastic surgeon hack took your balls, my man?