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.

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

  • GoJoeBruinUCLA

    We’re at odds, Chris. Major odds. Big odds. DETRIMENTAL ODDS, EVEN.
    If we can nab him for the veteran’s minimum, it won’t be so hard to part ways with him midway if the drama gets ugly. He has been flighty, yeah, but such is Lamar’s game, and we’ve done fine when we’re not so reliant on him being such a major factor night in and out. 
    We could use his length and, if his problems are really because he felt jilted, perhaps being welcomed back could vault him to that level. It won’t be a huge commitment to bring him aboard for next year. 

  • raiderkarma

     @GoJoeBruinUCLA Like I said, I love Odom. But just look at how you qualified the move by saying “it won’t be so hard to part ways with him if the drama gets ugly”. That’s a little like saying “I’m going to get married but I’m not going to move in with my wife just in case things go bad”.
    Odom was missed this past season. No doubt about it. But he’s a year older, you have no idea what his mental state will be and he’s still under contract with Dallas. They could have cut him they’re looking to trade so they can get value in return. Right now everything is just a fantasy scenario. Getting him for the Vet’s minimum is not an option at the moment and if Dallas won’t cut him then ask yourself, would you take him at $8-million next season? No way!
    Also, let’s not forget how inconsistent he is. His last season in L.A. was great but that is not the norm. Not to mention his value is tied to the players around him. Odom won’t make you a champion he can only take you over the last hurdle if you’re that close. The Lakers are in another zip code when it comes to contending. Kupchak needs to rebuild. Adding Odom is reversing field. We’ve been there and we know how it ends. Time to write a new chapter.

  • GoJoeBruinUCLA

     @raiderkarma To combat the marriage thing, I’m fully in support of Mexico’s “contract marriage” proposal. 
    There are reports — and sure, they’re reports — that Odom will take the veteran’s minimum, and I don’t see how the Mavericks do that. Regardless, whoever they trade him for, he’s getting bought out, I’m sure. No one will pay $8 mil for him, not after this year, and when he does get cut, and if Kupchak handles the situation well, Odom’s coming back for the vet’s min, easy. He had too horrible of a season not to. 
    Are we really ready to rebuild? We have Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol will net us some “win-now” assets, even if they aren’t stars. At the same time, if we trust in Kupchak, there’s a legit possibility that our entire roster gets a huge make-over while somehow cutting our payroll. Mitch has a knack for exploiting desperate owners. And so if Bynum becomes the center-piece (God willing– er, Kobe willing), and we miraculously land Deron Williams (by somehow canning Gasol and letting go of World Peace), then Lamar Odom is a legit asset again. 
    He’s never been consistent, but we just need him to do what he did here: Have the *threat* of being good that night, and forcing teams to wonder if Lamar will play to his advantages (and we know how big of a nightmare he is at the 4, and how troublesome he is at the 3). 

  • ereed99

    You’re looking at it completely wrong.  At a Vet minimum we’d be crazy to not have him.  He brings a lot to the table in many areas we could use and that we missed.  I don’t think anyone said we would have beaten OKC if we still had him, and nor do I think he’s the reason we lost the prior year.  He is a great facilitator period regardless of how much he scores.  I don’t think this last year is any indication as to how he will play next year, the dude went through a lot. 

  • http://biggzmoney.com k24lakeshow

    Chris your buging at the rate lakers going why not that him back,look when fisher left and came back they won 2 championship

  • GoJoeBruinUCLA

     @ereed99 This I agree with. At worst, he’s a bench warmer (come on, vet’s min, man. Luke was warming the bench for what used to be the MLE). To play Devil’s Advocate, it’s still a roster spot taken up that could be used to move forward, and instead, we could be symbolic and focus on Odom. 
    But I disagree with myself.

  • GoJoeBruinUCLA

     @k24lakeshow Ehh, that was different. We won those more because we traded Gasol, but it does seem like Fish is the glue.