On Sunday, excerpts of Jeannie Buss’ re-released memoir, ‘Laker Girl,’ made headlines as she wrote about her reaction to the team hiring Mike D’Antoni instead of Phil Jackson. It brought back ill feelings from last season, but both Jim and Jeanie have stated that they have resolved the situation and are committed to making the Lakers championship contenders.
On Thursday, more excerpts were released as Buss discussed labor negotiations and the fall-out after the Chris Paul trade. While Pau Gasol handled the situation well, it was extremely difficult for Lamar Odom, who the Lakers eventually traded to the Dallas Mavericks for a first-round pick.
Unfortunately, Jeanie wasn’t aware that Odom was being traded until Jim texted her:
“I found out when my brother sent me the following text: ‘Traded Odom to Dallas for first-round pick. I think it might make it easier to make a big trade. Will keep you posted. Have a good night.'”
While the Lakers were eventually able to use the trade exception for Steve Nash, it was painful for Jeanie to see Odom, who was the soul of a winning team, traded:
“He can be such an asset to a team in ways the fans never see. The captain of a team is the person who is out there meeting with the refs and showing leadership on the floor. But there are also guys like Lamar who can be an emotional force in the locker room on a one-on-one basis. He will reach out to a player who is down and boost his spirit and build up his confidence.”
Buss also mentions in her re-released memoir that she met with Odom to inform him that he is always family and it wasn’t her decision to trade him. As executive vice president, she understands that it’s a business, but it was extremely painful to see Odom go.
Since the former Sixth Man of the Year was traded, both sides have struggled. The Lakers have failed to make it past the second round of the playoffs after making three straight Finals appearances. While Odom seemed to have his life back together when he was traded to the Clippers, it has unfortunately spiraled out of control this summer. There were rumors of a possible reunion earlier in the off-season, but Odom is currently finding his way back to the person and teammate everyone raves about.
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