As Team USA prepares for the FIBA World Basketball Championships, it has become clear that Lamar Odom will factor heavily in Mike Krzyzewski’s gameplan. The 6’10” jack of all trades isn’t likely to lead the team in any major statistical categories as evident by LO’s 0 point, 3 rebound effort in an 87-59 rout of Greece today. However, the Laker 6th man does provide Krzyzewski with valuable minutes filled with contributions on both end of the court.
Lamar’s defense (4 steals) was key in Team USA’s final tune up before the championships begin. The Queens native is perfectly suited for international hoops. With his patented Swiss Army Knife game, Odom will pose matchup problems in every contest in addition to doing all the little things necessary to take the crown.
Krzyzewski made headlines when he opted to start Lamar at center. In the NBA, Odom might be a little out of place as a 5 but in world hoops he’s more than capable.
Perhaps the most valuable role player in pro ball, LO is an athletic freak capable of playing all 5 positions on the court. In high school his game was likened to that of Magic Johnson and as a Laker Lamar’s done a decent Earvin impersonation with two rings to his name.
Now all that remains is for Odom to atone for the bronze medal he and the US Olympic team came home with back in 2004. The United States hasn’t won the FIBA World Title since 1994. An inexplicable shame when you consider all the talent this great country contains.
If all you do is read boxscores then you won’t know how valuable Odom is to Team USA. Ask any Laker fan and they’ll tell you that Odom’s true value can only be revealed by actually watching him play. We’d all love it if Lamar had a Black Mamba mentality but if winning is all that matters then the only stats one should use to measure Odom are number of championships.
Hopefully Lamar will be bringing a FIBA title back to L.A. to go along with his second consecutive Larry O’Brien. Just don’t expect him to feature prominently on SportsCenter highlights.