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The Ghost of Lamar Odom Haunts Both Lakers, Mavericks Reviewed by Momizat on . I try my hardest to suppress the memory of Mitch Kupchak trading Lamar Odom away. I really do. But the pain never truly goes away. My thought process remains th I try my hardest to suppress the memory of Mitch Kupchak trading Lamar Odom away. I really do. But the pain never truly goes away. My thought process remains th Rating:
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The Ghost of Lamar Odom Haunts Both Lakers, Mavericks

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I try my hardest to suppress the memory of Mitch Kupchak trading Lamar Odom away. I really do. But the pain never truly goes away.

My thought process remains the same as it always has: the reigning Sixth Man of the Year for a pick and a trade exception? Not even a solid role player? Did that really happen?

Three months after the fact, with Odom officially gone as well as Derek Fisher, this current Laker team only has four of the players that won a championship in 2010 (World Peace, Bryant, Gasol and Bynum).

Initially I felt gift wrapping Odom to Dallas would increase the Mavericks’ chances of repeating as NBA champions. In reality, the trade hasn’t helped either team, it’s benefited the 28 other ones.

Let’s start with the Mavericks, whose core players are even older than the Lakers. After winning it all in June, owner Mark Cuban made some questionable decisions in the off-season. The Mavs allowed Tyson Chandler, Caron Butler and JJ Barea to walk via free agency, replacing them with Vince Carter, Delonte West and Odom.

The moves left some people scratching their heads. After winning a championship, teams usually give the players a chance to repeat. However, Cuban and his executives elected to dump salary and gear up for the summer of Dwight Howard and Deron Williams instead. Unfortunately, all three of their new additions have missed time at one point or another during the season: Odom for “personal reasons”, Carter with a foot injury and West is currently still injured with a finger problem.

As a result the Mavericks’ productivity this season has taken a huge hit.

Injuries are a part of the grueling season but the manner in which Odom has missed games has caused fans to question his desire to play the game. Ever since being notified that he was part of the package the Lakers used to acquire Chris Paul before the trade was cancelled, Odom has been riding an emotional roller coaster, and he hasn’t really gotten off it.

He was crying on-air in an interview with Stephen A. Smith when asked about the trade. He reportedly demanded out of Los Angeles as he felt unwanted. In a Mavericks uniform he’s never really played like the Lamar Odom Laker fans have grown accustomed to over the past seven years. He is averaging 7.2 points and 4.4 rebounds per game – half of what he produced last season. It got so bad that Odom requested to be sent down to the D-League after his 10-day leave of absence from the team.

The man with a renowned sweet tooth is having a very bitter season.

Odom’s performance has been a reflection of the Mavericks season. As of last night, Dallas sits in sixth place with a record of 27-20 but it’s been far from pretty. Jason Terry, the Mavs’ spark-plug, was quoted as saying the Mavs needed to worry about making the playoffs before they even focus on repeating. Things turned ugly for Dallas two weeks ago on their stretch of back-to-back-back games. They lost all three games by a combined total of 39 points, and did I mention all three teams (the Warriors, Kings and the Suns) wouldn’t make the playoffs if it started today?

They’ve only recently picked up their form with four straight wins.

Odom’s current play may hurt the Mavericks but his departure has hurt the Lakers even more.

It’s been said over and over this season the Lakers’ biggest weaknesses lie in the three areas: the point guard, the small forward and the bench. They bandaged the point guard position with the acquisition of Ramon Sessions. And the two other areas of weakness used to be where Odom thrived, off the bench as a scoring small-forward. In case some of you have forgotten already, he won the sixth man of the year award last year.

Tonight’s matchup is obviously a stern test for both teams, who have both have been dismissed as contenders.

The Lakers need to get back on track after relinquishing leads in two winnable games.

The Mavericks need to prove to themselves they can beat the Lakers after losing the first two games in the season series (this time around Derek Fisher won’t be available to hit the game-winning three).

But most importantly, both the Mavericks and the Lakers need to get their respective seasons on track and escape the ghost of Lamar Odom that has been haunting them all year long.

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About The Author

Lee joined Lakers Nation in 2011 as a staff writer and attended Ryerson University in Toronto for journalism. To read more of Gabe's work for Lakers Nation click here. Follow Gabe on Twitter @therealgaber.

Number of Entries : 92
  • Dmoneysb

    great article

  • http://www.facebook.com/nmlarry.gutierrez Larry Gutierrez

    Who Cares… Lamar is gone…. He is a great player and he had a great season when he won the 6th man award but before that he failed to show up for several games.  Some games he never even scored.  It’s a loss i can live with..
     

    • Davidlee722

      Are you serioius~~~~ Odom was purely lakers 3rd/4th best player… no look who it is its Barnes come on… you dont see the downgrade here???? Odom was one of my favourite players, but even on his off nites he is dangerous… 6’10 can score can pass like a PG come on your saying you can live without all his skill sets… Im kinda annoyed at the lakers for trading odom but hey its business… I just hope someone signs Odom nxt year… 

      • jRually

        He would not be 3rd/4th this year tho….. Kobe, Drew, Pau, and Ramon would all be ahead of Lamar

  • Livediecali

    I know Kobe is one of the greatest player in the NBA right now. But Kobe you need to start share the damm Ball. You have 4 player on the floor with couple of minutes. We all know and they know that you are going to have the ball at the end.. PASS THE FUCKEN BALL DUDE. 

  • Jrwally1970

    Kobe PASS the rock fool. When you where in the bench we were leading by 12 points, But its not your fault that we lost last night game its ur Center Dumb ass Andrew action like a child… But you need to start passing the ball also…..

  • Stringplucker82

    The issue isn’t Odom’s presence or lack there of.  He IS/can be a great player, however, because he is so emotional, it often hinders/gets in the way of his performance.  The Lakers aren’t losing right now because of Fisher’s age, or because of Odom’s mercurial rise/fall.  They are floundering for several reasons. 1.) Mike Brown: Brown was brought in because of his experience with LBJ (the front office thought this would help in dealing with Kobe; it hasn’t) and because of his experience with the Spurs organisation (Defense, something the Lakers were sorely missing last year). The reality is that Brown is a consummate suck up/kiss ass to his Stars.  He does not know how to deal with Kobe and if you look at the so called ‘offense’, you will know exactly what I am referring to.  Brown’s offensive strategy is that a 5th graders perception; get the ball to your star player and let him shoot, shoot, shoot, when he should be riding the Big’s for the first 35 minutes of the game.  2.) This is related to the 1st point, Kobe Bryant.  In the immediate aftermath of Shaq’s departure, Kobe was left with a supporting cast of inexperienced and under talented role players.  It was also the first time Kobe had really been Numero Uno.  This was the perfect opportunity for Kobe to spread his wings.  With Phil Jackson’s return (2nd Stint) and the addition of Pau Gasol, structure was once again re-established, which enabled Kobe and the Lakers to make three more finals appearance’s and win 2 NBA Championships.  However, since then, Jackson (and his system), Fisher (Kobe’s oldest ally/confidant) and Odom have all left.  In there place is a budding new star (someone whom Kobe was not too excited about back in ’06 (demanded trade).  It would appear things have come full circle for Kobe.  Yes, he does have the greatest foot work and work ethic of anyone in the NBA, but it would appear that he has failed to recognize how best to get back to the Finals (at least at this point in the season).  The ‘WAY’, is on the shoulders of Andrew Bynum.  It may be that Kobe hasn’t recognized this or in fact doesn’t want to recognize it because of how he started out in the league.  The memories of being the punk kid on the bench while Shaq and “the men” were in the game.  It would seem Kobe Bryant is still fighting those demons of the past. However, IF he has truly mastered the game, then at some point, he’ll remember this lesson and go back to what Phil taught him all those years ago.

  • http://www.facebook.com/eric.salcido Eric Salcido

    The problem with Mike Brown is that he thinks he can run the LeBroffense in L.A. It didn’t work in Cleveland and it won’t work here.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/ZH6FUZRL22QEASI5BWO2TWU5SY elf

    BOOOO

  • Bagels’N’Smear

    Does anyone else think that maybe Lakers management new that Lamar was out of shape and un-prepared for this season?

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