If anything, Lamar Odom isn't eating ENOUGH candy
Who'da thunk a seemingly innocent ESPN segment documenting Lamar Odom's lust for all things candy would have created such a Southland stir? Yes, the man cops to a serious sugar craving, but this hardly felt like front page news. (It actually struck me more as a semi-organic excuse to crank up Jerry and the boys.)
Well, tell that to Dr. Daniel Amen, a brain imaging specialist/psychiatrist/Lakers die hard. The Amen Clinics founder was so thrown for a tizzy by this discovery of LO's fondness for Gummy Bears and the like that he constructed an essay detailing what he believes to be the connection between Odom's sugar intake and an inconsistent career. In a nutshell, the good doctor thinks Lawrence Davis isn't the only athlete that should be nicknamed "Crash."
I asked LO about this essay, and fairly amused, he threw some data of his own Amen's way. Specifically, the figures 19 and 14, then 20 and 8. "The games I played well (against the Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference Finals) were the games where I ate candy for breakfast," smiled Odom. "I guess he's wrong. Even though, I mean, he's a doctor. Doctors are usually always right."
Oh, and that Game 5/6 Breakfast Of Champions? Now and Laters, Skittles and, of course, Starburst Jelly beans (LO's "new kick"). Put that in your pipe and smoke it, Wheaties!!!
Phil Jackson was asked about Lamar's candy crush, which he thinks may have been exaggerated a bit for entertainment value. Still, he's not wild about that diet, nor a proponent of Halloween.
For more on this candy controversy, check out Lamar's hilarious interview on 710 ESPN's Mason and Ireland Show. He appears around twenty-nine minutes in and it's worth the listen just to hear LO sing a few bars of a classic tune.
And as long as we're discussing candy, let's turn to it's kissing cousin, the cookie. The consumption of which, metaphorically speaking, is the closest LeBron James will come to tasting a title this year (unless, of course, he combines symbolism and reality by kicking ass in a cookie eating contest). It's been presented rather subtlety through commercial campaigns and the media, but a Kobe-LeBron showdown was being treated as somewhat expected and anticipated. With the King's time now spent fielding questions about New York, some might consider a Lakers-Magic Finals robbed of any intrigue. But as I detailed while asking readers if they wanted Cleveland or Orlando, the matchups may lack the Mamba-LBJ star power, but they're no less intriguing from a pure basketball standpoint.
In particular, I'm very curious to see how Pau Gasol- arguably lacking a natural defensive assignment- handles guarding Rashard Lewis, a considerably different cover than he typically faces. With build of a four but the game of a three, Lewis' downtown prowess will often drag Gasol further from the basket than he usually resides. Throw in the time Gasol will also spend checking beastly Dwight Howard in the paint, and El Spaniard could end up feeling muy loco by series' end.
"Yeah, that's going to be difficult because I'm probably going to be guarding Lewis at times and then Howard at times, which are two completely opposite players. Two completely opposite bodies. You have to adjust and just flip the switch just like that and be ready. It's a challenge but I'm looking forward to it."
I also asked Phil about how the coaching staff prepares Pau for the change of pace in store.
It's probably just me, but I got a distinct sense that Phil wanted to keep any approaches close to the vest. But even while maintaining radio silence, PJ did allow a little info to slip through the cracks. The Zen Master's persona is one that typically involves the phrase "letting players figure things out for themselves." But those worried such a philosophy equals simply telling Gasol to "play through it" as Lewis creates space around the three point line, fear not. The issue is getting covered in practice. So we got that going for us.
Trevor Ariza, on this being a completely different Magic team than the one last faced in January, and the friendly relationship with former Orlando teammates.
More video to come, once Youtube finishes a maintenance.