April 28, 2011; New Orleans, LA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers power forward Lamar Odom (7) reacts during the second quarter in game six of the first round of the 2011 NBA playoffs against the New Orleans Hornets at the New Orleans Arena. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE

Lakers Don’t Need A Lamar Odom Reunion

In theory it sounds nice. So too did the notion of George Clooney playing Bruce Wayne. We know how that killed off the Batman franchise and you should expect similar returns for the Lake Show if a Lamar Odom reunion is in the cards.

It’s time for the Lakers to move forward. Supposedly Odom wants to come back but Jim Buss would be advised to say “thanks, but no thanks”.

In case you forgot the last time LO was in a purple and gold jersey he was part of team that was swept out of the playoffs by the eventual champs. So please don’t try to tell me how the Lakers were an Odom away from competing this season after being run off the court by the eventual Western Conference runners up.

Also, let’s not forget that Odom’s game has never been in question. With the multitalented forward it’s always been about his mental approach. If Odom had Kobe’s killer instinct we’d be talking about one of the all-time greats. Instead Odom’s sixth man of the year honor stands as his lone accomplishment as an individual. And if you missed it his mental approach got him sent home with pay this season.

Before we get too far down the line let me admit that I have long been a Lamar apologist. I was always the one sticking up for him even after he’d follow up a triple-double with a 2-point, 3-rebound, 1-long face night. So don’t you dare assume I’m some hater mad at him for marrying into the evil Armenian empire. Quite the opposite. I’m such an Odom fan that I know a reunion would only create an even more awkward ending than his first Laker exit. You do remember how that went over, right?

Fact of the matter is anyone who thinks the Lakers still need Odom is fooling themselves. The Lake Show needs Odom back like Mike Tyson needs Don King managing his money again.

Some relationships just run their course. The Lakers got more out of Odom than any other team he’s ever played for. We all know they couldn’t have hung two more banners without Lamar. That’s why trading him when they did was the right move. If you’re up big why keep gambling? Walk away.

Odom is and always will be a gamble. Ask Mark Cuban about that. You don’t know what you’re getting night-in and night-out. That sort of uncertainty was fine when KB24 was still capable of taking over a game or when Pau Gasol wasn’t playing with a broken heart.

But now, with all the new drama, not to mention the unknown of how Mike Brown will handle the moody Lamar makes for unnecessary headaches. Headaches that require drastic measures like a handgun instead of a Tylenol.

I fully understand why Odom was so shocked at being abruptly traded to New Orleans. He sacrificed everything from his role as a starter to millions of dollars in free agency just to remain a Laker. That he was shipped out to the armpit of the NBA was unfair. But it is the business of hoops. Has Odom forgotten how he became a Laker in the first place? He might want to dial Shaq if he needs a refresher.

From here out the Lakers must move forward getting younger, more athletic, smarter and hungrier. They’re being left behind by the likes of the Thunder and Spurs who spend each offseason acquiring new talent to coach up in their systems. Coach Brown doesn’t really even have a system to speak of and if they keep giving him retreads all he’s going to do is keep producing the same results.

I will always be grateful and appreciative of all Odom did as a Laker. But this isn’t college. There are no scholarships. You only get your spot on the roster based on what you’re doing, not what you’ve done. Derek Fisher found that out this season. One day Kobe Bryant will too. The Odom era is over. Time to move forward.

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Tags: Derek Fisher Jim Buss Kobe Bryant Lamar Odom Mark Cuban Mike Brown Pau Gasol Shaquille O'neal

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