Let’s talk about All-Star’s. Now Kobe’s always a given — that’s why he’s nearly always the top vote getter in the league. Pau Gasol? Sure, he’s a regular. Ron Artest? Yep, there’s no one like him, defensively or mentally, put him in. Andrew Bynum? Yeah, he’s been injured, but off the bench yes and who else is there for the center position out West? Derek Fisher even? Hey, there was a Twitter campaign going last season, now wouldn’t that have been nice? He deserves it (but that’s for a separate piece). Next year, when it’s time to tick the ballots and punch the holes out of the paper in the NBA mid-terms, one man shouldn’t be forgotten for his all-team, all-time, all-star play. Just like he has been unjustly so throughout his career and criminally was again last season during his best campaign yet.
With so much talent on view for the Lake Show, next years All-Star game could be like 1997-98 all over again, when Shaq, Kobe and mid-nighties, purple and gold studs Eddie Jones and Nick ‘The Quick’ Van Exel suited up in those gaudy, instantly dated All-Star uni’s. Face it, the Lakers could easily field their starting lineup at next years game. They may as well have done it last season as the game was played at STAPLES Center after all. Especially with all the inconsistencies, it’s not the starting lineup that’s most deserving of the honor, it’s the Lakers most consistent player of last season and their and the NBA’s ‘Sixth Man of the Year,” Lamar Odom.
Forget ‘Khloe and Lamar’ for a second, the only thing you need to keep up with is what Lamar Odom showcases on the court. The only reality you need to tune into is that this guy is the most diverse, versatile player in the league. He is the difference maker, the do it all guy everybody wants on their team. Part what Kevin Garnett is, part what Anthony Randolph is going to be. Just like what Pat Riley said back in the Miami days, “just like Magic.”
Odom’s got his own tricks two. From a great inside and out game, on both ends of the floor, to passing first and shooting from anywhere when needed. He’s a triple-double machine, and his 16 and 10 double-double average is two buckets away from being the 20 and 10 sought-after figures that are generally considered, Dwight, Amare or superstar numbers. (And they said Lamar was soft.) No he’s tough, like his New York upbringing. Q.B.’s finest like Nas, Ron Artest, (we see you Devin Ebanks) now that’s two games legendary, so let’s give him one more.
Most of these points come off the bench as well. Okay, so with the injuries the Lakers suffered last season, from Bynum to everyone, LO has started more than he’s had pine time. Still, he willingly and ably went back to his reserve role when he was no longer needed for the primetime. Last seasons NBA’s ‘Sixth Man Of The Year’ and one of the best ever at his position (but that’s for another article) really epitomized the sporting definition of the word ‘backup.’ Besides Lamar saved the short-handed Lakers from falling even shorter during last season — it was just a shame about the playoffs. Now aren’t these the hallmarks of a top sixth man? Coming in hot when his cold team needs him? Still as said, that’s for a different article.