March 3, 2012

Will the Real Lamar Odom Please Stand Up?

By - Kris Fletcher

After assigning Lamar Odom to a D-League stint on Friday, the Dallas Mavericks had a change of heart this afternoon and recalled him for their home game against the Utah Jazz tonight.

Odom, who hasn't played since February 20th due to a family matter, has been the center of controversy this year because of his seemingly uninspired play on both ends of the court.

Photo by: Ronald Martinez
The 6'10" forward is currently having the worst season of his 13-year NBA career. On Friday, coach Rick Carlisle expressed his frustration with Odom:

"When he comes back, we're going to find out very quickly where things are at," Carlisle said. "He's going to have to show us with his actions and attitude."

Last year with the Los Angeles Lakers, Odom averaged 14.4 points, 8.7 rebounds, 3.0 assists and shot 53% from the field on his way to being named the league's Sixth Man of the Year. Through the first 32 games of the 2010-11 campaign, he had 13 double-doubles.

Oh how things have changed.

This season, Odom is averaging only 7.7 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.7 assists per contest, while shooting just 36% from the field. He's also yet to have a double-double since joining the Mavericks.

Despite all that, Finals MVP Dirk Nowitzki isn't ready to give up on Odom just yet.

"We've got to find ways to get better and we'd love to have him be apart of it,'' Nowitzki said Friday. "I still think when he's playing at a high level our team can take it to a whole another level, so we're going to be patient with him and then see what he can give us. If he can play every night and be there for us, then it'll be okay and it'll work out. His versatility on both ends of the floor is something not a lot of teams have, so we'd love to give it a shot and go from there.''

So what's to blame for Odom's dramatic drop off in production this year?

My guess would be the fact that he's no longer a Laker. It's not like the quality of players around Odom are worse than the group he played with in Los Angeles, so that can't be the cause for his lack of productivity. Some guys never get over being traded from a team they love playing on, and that appears to be the case here.

Basically, his heart is still in LA.

But be that as it may, Odom better get back to playing at a fairly high-level, or his playing days for any team could very well be numbered.


  1. Had 3 whole points in Dallas' win tonight. Real big factor LOL. I agree though. I don't think he's gotten over the way he was treated and traded by the Lakers yet.