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Lamar Odom handles return to the bench with grace

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Lakers forward Lamar Odom summoned Coach Phil Jackson over to hear the news.

In hopes that a quick lineup shuffle would spark the Lakers out of a three-game winning streak entering their game Wednesday against New Orleans, Jackson informed Odom he would return to the bench and Lakers center Andrew Bynum would start in his place. It's not exactly surprising this would happen. Jackson had maintained all along this would take place once Bynum recovered enough from his off-season surgery on his right knee because Odom's versatility made him more of a moveable part than Bynum's length and deliberate pace. It was just surprising it would happen this soon considering both Jackson and Bynum didn't expect he would be ready for at least a couple more weeks.

But Odom's reaction suggested otherwise.

"It was expected because that's his spot," Odom said of Bynum. "That's his spot and that's his role on the team. It's not like there was a competition for a spot last year or the year before when he decided to start Drew. That's the way it is and that's what I expected as soon as I got back to full strength."

Odom's indifference isn't all that surprising. He's accepted and excelled in a bench role with the Lakers for the last three seasons. His immediate response, however, truly shows how Odom's selfless attitude helps make any changed role seamless. He responded that night by scoring a season-high 24 points off the bench on 10 of 15 shooting, making a three-pointer to end the third quarter and a nifty putback after he wrapped the ball around his back.

Hoopdata shows he's dangerous at the rim (74%), shots from within 10 feet (57.9%) and from three-point range (54.6%). And Odom's official return to the bench after playing with the unit in spurts all season has made, to Matt Barnes, the Lakers look like they possess "the deepest bench in the league."

But all of those qualities wouldn't be on full display unless Odom embraced being a moveable but valuable part. Jackson argues Odom's willingness to accept any role provides "the difference in championship teams" because it helps the Lakers absorb Bynum's injury better, maximizes Bynum's specific skill set in needing a size presence early in the game and sends the team the right message.

"It takes a particular mindset from a player to be able to do that," Pau Gasol said. "To go from the starting lineup to the bench and still be very productive and understanding of why it's for the best of the team -- he does that extremely well."

Odom demonstrated that go-with-the flow mentality when he had a recent conversation with his cousin. When talk veered into his starting role, the two couldn't help but laugh considering the more serious problems Odom has encountered, including the deaths of his grandmother, mother and infant son. Compare that to Odom's current situation: He's contending for a third championship ring, describes his current game as "sharp" after spending time with Team USA in the 2010 FIBA World Championships, posts consistent performances for a team that's played inconsistently, is happily married to Khloe Kardashian and even has a reality TV show lined up with her this spring.

What's the sense in fussing about whether he starts or not?

"I would say I think about my career as a basketball player, I've been a starter since I was 6," said Odom, who's still averaging between 29 to 35 minutes per game in the last three seasons. "Being coachable is something that I pride myself on and doing whatever it takes to make the situation comfortable and to win and to be happy I'll do whatever it takes. I'm in a position where I can win and I'm happy. I still get to play basketball how I like it."

This is how Odom likes to play basketball, in ways that make it hard to define him as a player. Focus on how he provides coast-to-coast dunks and layups and you overlook his ability to fire outlook passes on those same sequences. Focus on how his post presence takes pressure off Gasol, widens the floor for the backcourt and gives him space to post up or hit a mid-range jumper and you overlook his ability to direct the offense up top and hit outside shots. Focus on his ability to seamlessly fill in for Bynum's absence and you overlook the instant chemistry he forged with the second unit in Barnes, Steve Blake and Shannon Brown.

"Either way, he's going to give you what he's got," said Bynum, who's also credited Odom for helping him handle his emotions. "He's  just that kind of guy. Whether or not he's starting, he'll go out and do what he needs to do. [He shows why] you can't have anybody being a bad apple."

He's demonstrated that selfless mindset in many ways. Odom doesn't expect others to follow his lead in playing such a role because it's simply one that fits him. He acknowledges his goal in wanting to earn an NBA All-Star nod and the league's sixth man of the year award, but relishes more of the process of pursuing the goal rather than worrying about actually attaining it. When relayed to Odom that many of the Lakers, Team USA, Chicago Coach Tom Thibodeau, former Laker Jerry West and former Laker James Worthy all highly compliment his game, he expresses appreciation for the gestures but values more the friendships that come along with that bonding. 

This attitude has surely reflected the personality fans and teammates have loved in Odom for quite some time. But his recent embracing of a role he knows well off the bench further illustrated how it can pay immediate dividends. 

--Mark Medina

Twitter.com/latmedina

E-mail the Lakers blog at [email protected]

Photo: Lakers forward Lamar Odom, right, shoots over New Orleans center D.J. Mbenga during the Lakers' 103-88 victory Wednesday. Credit: Chris Graythen / Getty Images

 
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Herro (The only Japanese that I know),

We are nearing 6-hours into the New Year here.
So far, so good.

The Lakers didn’t lose their last game by double digits, and hell, even we won a game with a buzzer beater, so it’s a good way to end 2010, and bring in the New Year.

Choke-dee-pee-my (Happy New Year) to all of you, and whatever you do, don’t let the downward spiral of your team discourage you.

(Larry, the heart and soul of this board, warmest greetings to you and your clan my friend, if you happen to see this).

Peace on Lakerland (The only Spanish that I know)

Sonnybelfast

Sonny my brother how are you? Thank you and a very Happy New Year to you sir. So I don't have to ask what your resolutions were. (1) To be nicer to the Laker Nation. (2) To be nicer to the Saint and finally(3) To become a full fledged member of Laker Nation yourself!!! LOL! Someone once said "Anything is Possible" of course the person who said it was a Lunatic but still...LOL! OK Sonny I'm gonna stop playing with ya. I hope you and the Family have a New Year filled with Health, Wealth and Happiness sir!!! Be safe my brother!!

LAMAR ODOM FOR ALL STAR!!!!!!!!!!!
He is showing that he's a true laker through and through, been playing amazing all season long! leader of the bench, great player, great moves, great shooter, great all around player. LO you are slowly but surely winning my laker heart!

*_________________________________________________________________________*
LAMAR ODOM ALL-STAR GAME OR BUST – NO LO ALL-STAR NO PEACE !! BANDWAGON
*_________________________________________________________________________*
(01) HTJ - OWNER - But on a happier note, how about that Lamar? Finally playing ball like
we'd hoped 5 years ago. 16.6/11.4/3.6/1stl. Sounds like an all-star line to me. And that's a
bandwagon you can throw me on. LO - All Star Game or Bust!
(02) JUSTANOTHERMAMBAFAN – CO/OWNER- Alright - can someone please explain why
I'm not the owner, driver and manager of the Lamar for ASG and 6th Man of the Year
bandwagons?? What's a girl gotta do to get a post about LO read around here? I've been on that
bandwagon since he BECAME a Laker. Geez...


(30) CORNERJ - RIDING SHOTGUN2 - Lamar has stepped it up this year to a whole new level, and he richly deserves the recognition. In my opinion, he's now the single toughest matchup problem in the league, even more so than Kobe,Lebron, or Carmelo. Who exactly is the other team going to put on him...a guard, a forward, a center? No can do. There's a fatal discrepancy in height, quickness, dribbling ability, length, perimeter shooting, etc., that LO has over just about any other player the other team can put on him. Lamar Odom...NBA All Star 2010-11...it's time!
(31) NO MO PLATITUDES - MY QUESTION FOR THE "DEAR BLOG" For Whom PJ will lobby? Gasol or LO? what is your choice at the end of 2010? I will start with one VOTE for LO.
(32) DIANDRA - LAMAR ODOM FOR ALL STAR!!!!!!!!!!! He is showing that he's a true laker through and through, been playing amazing all season long! leader of the bench, great player, great moves, great shooter, great all around player. LO you are slowly but surely winning my laker heart!

THREEPEAT HISTORICAL REALITIES . . .


1... At the conclusion of the NBA's eight season, the 1953-54 Lakers won the NBA Championship and the last leg of the leagues first "Threepeat", over thirty years before then nine-year-old Pat Riley would register the copyright to the label. It took the full seven games for the Lakers to beat the Syracuse Nationals. That championship core never made it back to the finals.


2... FIVE seasons later in 1958-59 (their last in Minneapolis), the Lakers would return to the finals, only to be swept by Boston. That would prove to be the first of EIGHT consecutive championships by the dreaded Celtics (defeating the Lakers in FIVE of those championship series). Depending on how you choose to measure, the Celtics certainly accomplished at least a handful of "Threepeats" from 1959 to 1966. That championship core returned to the finals and won "Back-to-Back" championships in 1968 & 1969... but NO "Threepeat."


3. It would take another TWENTY YEARS before a team could even repeat as champions, our beloved Lakers. But that championship core team was swept from The Finals in 1988-89... NO "Threepeat."


4. The Detroit Pistons won "Back-to-Back" championships, then failed to make it to The Finals in 1991... NO "Threepeat".


5. In 1993, the Chicago Bulls completed their first "Threepeat." That championship core (minus MJ) failed to make it to The Finals the following year.


6. The Houston Rockest won "Back-to-Back" championships, then failed to make it to The Finals in 1995... NO "Threepeat".


7. In 1998, the Chicago Bulls completed their second "Threepeat." That championship core dissintegrated and the team failed to even make the playoffs following the lockout-shortened season the next year.


8. In 2002, the Lakers completed the organization's second "Threepeat". That championship core did not make it to The Finals in 2003.


9. THIS YEAR'S LAKER TEAM is in pursuit of a "Threepeat" . . . results yet to be determined.


Sooooo ~~ In NBA history (year 64 this year), here are a few historical realities.


--ONLY THREE FRANCHISES have ever accomplished the feat. Bulls twice, Lakers twice, Celtics 8-in-a-row for however many you consider.


--FOUR TIMES A THREEPEAT WAS POSSIBLE, BUT LOST.


--ONLY THE CELTICS RUN OF 8-in-a-row provided a championship run longer than three-in-a-row.


I know the arguments...
--Russell retired, Celtics lose ('70)...
--Magic & Byron injured, Lakers lose ('89)...
--Michael retired to baseball, Bulls lose('94)...
--Michael retired, again, Bulls lose ('99)...
--Shaq/Kobe wars, Lakers lose ('03)


But the reality is that few teams have ever accomplished the "Threepeat" and even fewer have had a shot at it!


So the answer is quite obvious to the question, "Why is this "Threepeat" opportunity so rare?" BECAUSE IT IS HARD TO DO!


Let us not overlook the immense difficulties a team faces when attempting to string together THREE consecutive championships. Say what you wish, call upon any excuses or reasons you choose, but history reflects that only 17 of its 63 completed seasons include a championship won as part of a "Threepeat".


And for the teams who have accomplished the "Threepeat", with the exception of the 60's Celtics, the feat was so difficult to accomplish that it was unsustainable the following season.


Make no mistake about it. What we are witnessing this season is one of the MOST DIFFICULT things to accomplish in the NBA. It will not come easily. It will cost more than just about anyone predicts. The forces of past, present and future will converge in waves of resistance. And if accomplished, only the passage of time will reveal such a "Threepeat" as it should be deemed ~~ EPIC.


LakerMike

@SEELY_IGGY… “Our Lakers know they've got the talent. They've played more games than anyone in the western conference and it's too easy to claim they're worn out. The great start to the season further compounded the belief that sheer talent will be enough. Given the weak teams they were served with, they started taking the feet of the gas pedal. When Drew's prolonged absence put a strain on them, they start cutting corners and taking a few things for granted. Bad habits begin to form and yet, they shrug it off as "hey, it's just an off night". But consecutive off nights become a pattern of behavior and mediocrity becomes a shared mental model for this team. The first step is to recognize that the bad habits have gotta go.“

Thank you for one of the best posts I’ve read in a while, filled with smart insights and expert analysis. Contributions like yours are what set this blog apart and give it a level of basketball intelligence and analytic perspective that are unique for a fan driven sports blog. My RCOTD, Seely_Iggy. ………………………………………………………….
@JOLLY RANCHER… Welcome back. You actually chose the ideal stretch of Lakers games to miss. It has been an amazing couple of weeks of frustration and disappointment that has tested the resolve of the faithful and unleashed an infestation of trolls and doubters. The usual suspects were punching and pounding the panic button and demanding players be traded and coaches be fired while the weak hearted were jumping off the three-peat bandwagon like rats abandoning ship. There were moments when the inmates were definitely running the asylum. LOL.

As a fan of inside-out basketball, I know you must have loved how Phil has quietly steered the team back to sharing the ball and playing the game the right way. This may be Kobe’s team but as Phil said, its biggest strength is its tall and talented front court trio and its ability to play inside-out basketball. Of course, having Drew back so that we finally do have an inside game was also a big help. LOL.
………………………………………………………….
@ISLAND PRIEST… Kudos for yet another outstanding post. I agree 100% with your comments and share your anguish over criticizing Kobe as he is also my favorite player. My only point of disagreement is that even MJ had moments and games that were not super hero status and Kobe did hit the boards hard and help out in other areas even though his shot was not falling in Game 7. Bottom line, I’m just happy that Kobe is a Laker and he already is the GOAT in my mind.
………………………………………………………….
TOM

Chowders lose to Hornets...

Shows that HEALTH is more important than HCA...

LakerMike, LakerMike, That was Magnificent my brother!!! Not to mention...OUT FREAKIN STANDING SIR!!!! You got me thinking more than you could ever know. So sir to you and yours may your New Year be Filled with Happiness, Wealth, Health and all you desire my brother. And post more often please!

Lamar for the ASG....OH, HECK YEAH!!!

From all indications, Lamar is a great and popular teammate. Some NBA greats have been sixth men, so he's in good company. And Lamar always seems to be on the court when it's winning time. Like last year at the end of game 7 when he threw that pass to Kobe to start the CELEBRATION!!!

HAPPY NEW YEAR ONE AND ALL!!!

17 IN '11!!!!

LakerMike - I am so happy to see you back posting. You were missed.


Tell Mrs.LakerMike I said HI and that I look forward to HER stuff this year too - NO EXCUSES!!! LOL!


@MAMBA24...

New Year Greetings to you and your family as well! Great to be back in step with you! I never left, just was silent.

LakerMike

mamba24: you forgot mine:

never mind all this other stuff.............are you voting for our Lakers for All-Stars at nba.com!?!?

KB, LO, PG, AB minimum.............DF & RA if you are so inclined?

Lets get LO in!!!!

Posted by: NuggetsCountry | December 31, 2010 at 08:52 AM

@LakerMike, Thanks and I understand perfectly my brother. I had to take a quick time-out a time or two myself. LOL! But it's great to have you posting again. Carry On!
*
*_________________________________________________________________________*
LAMAR ODOM ALL-STAR GAME OR BUST – NO LO ALL-STAR NO PEACE !! BANDWAGON
*_________________________________________________________________________*
(01) HTJ - OWNER - But on a happier note, how about that Lamar? Finally playing ball like
we'd hoped 5 years ago. 16.6/11.4/3.6/1stl. Sounds like an all-star line to me. And that's a
bandwagon you can throw me on. LO - All Star Game or Bust!
(02) JUSTANOTHERMAMBAFAN – CO/OWNER- Alright - can someone please explain why
I'm not the owner, driver and manager of the Lamar for ASG and 6th Man of the Year
bandwagons?? What's a girl gotta do to get a post about LO read around here? I've been on that
bandwagon since he BECAME a Laker. Geez...


(32) DIANDRA - LAMAR ODOM FOR ALL STAR!!!!!!!!!!! He is showing that he's a true laker through and through, been playing amazing all season long! leader of the bench, great player, great moves, great shooter, great all around player. LO you are slowly but surely winning my laker heart!
(33) BRONXLAKERFAN - Lamar for the ASG....OH, HECK YEAH!!! From all indications, Lamar is a great and popular teammate. Some NBA greats have been sixth men, so he's in good company. And Lamar always seems to be on the court when it's winning time. Like last year at the end of game 7 when he threw that pass to Kobe to start the CELEBRATION!!!

Fabulous did anyone ever tell you, you are an amazing person?

@JUSTA ...

Greetings to you as well! Mrs. LakerMike promises to make appearances in the upcoming year. ;-) Her B-day present to me, I suppose (January 1).

LakerMike

@NuggetsCountry, I apologize my brother! blame it on trying to eat grapes and sip champagne. LOL! Coming right up.

*_________________________________________________________________________*
LAMAR ODOM ALL-STAR GAME OR BUST – NO LO ALL-STAR NO PEACE !! BANDWAGON
*_________________________________________________________________________*
(01) HTJ - OWNER - But on a happier note, how about that Lamar? Finally playing ball like
we'd hoped 5 years ago. 16.6/11.4/3.6/1stl. Sounds like an all-star line to me. And that's a
bandwagon you can throw me on. LO - All Star Game or Bust!
(02) JUSTANOTHERMAMBAFAN – CO/OWNER- Alright - can someone please explain why
I'm not the owner, driver and manager of the Lamar for ASG and 6th Man of the Year
bandwagons?? What's a girl gotta do to get a post about LO read around here? I've been on that
bandwagon since he BECAME a Laker. Geez...


(33) BRONXLAKERFAN - Lamar for the ASG....OH, HECK YEAH!!! From all indications, Lamar is a great and popular teammate. Some NBA greats have been sixth men, so he's in good company. And Lamar always seems to be on the court when it's winning time. Like last year at the end of game 7 when he threw that pass to Kobe to start the CELEBRATION!!!
(34) NUGGETS COUNTRY - never mind all this other stuff.............are you voting for our Lakers for All-Stars at nba.com!?!?KB, LO, PG, AB minimum.............DF & RA if you are so inclined? Lets get LO in!!!!


I've been very impressed by LO this year. So far he has been my favorite Laker this season, and I have never come close to saying that before. He has just consistently come out and played hard and played well and done whatever was aksed of him.


I'm interested to see tonight's game. I though the New Orleans win was a bit of fool's gold. The Lakers were simply bigger and better than NO, but they did not play all that well. They were sloppy (Kobe had 7 TOs in 28 minutes!). They didn't get the ball inside consistently against a smaller team(Pau had only 5 shot attempts). They shot well (like they did in those early season wins), played decent good D, and New Orelans had no one show up besides their PGs, Paul and Jack.


Before they face the big guys again the Lakers will have to make bigger strides in execution. The good news is Drew is back and starting to be aggressive offensively, which the Lakers are in surprising need of. Kobe is still great, but he is no longer superhuman. Pau has gone quiet. And Artest and Fish are not big threats. The Lakers will need Drew, LO and Shannon to provide some scoring this year ot win big games.

For our friend sonny b. He's always here, so he may have missed this....

http://tinyurl.com/2dwqxoe

Looks like Sacto is having doubts about "Happy Meal" Cousins.

Cheers, sonny!

All this fanfare regarding Lamar. Don't forget, this guy loafed for his entire career so it just goes to show what someone can do when they put their minds to it. I'm a cynical guy to begin with so I wouldn't put it pass him that the motivation to win is so that his new "show" will bring in more viewers; nothing like having episodes of the "champ & the t_ _ _p" hitting the airwaves! Ratings sell commercial air time and MO MONEY for the "Odomshians."

That being said, whatever his motivation, the team benefits and Kobe will have a shot at number 6, the team gets number 17 and L.A. gets another parade. It works for me.

A team like the Lakers, true champions, there's no such thing like starters or bench players: They're all important.

LO coming from the bench is justa killer move; he can knock the game down pretty quick.

Even coming from the bench, LO has been so far our true secret-weapon.

Cheers.

Congrats Seely-Iggy 100% on point, well deserved.

Mamba24- My Brother, add me to the LO Express, best player on the team.

By changing of his eating habits droping the candy, better performance on the court. Marriage can be GOOD, did I say that?

All this fanfare regarding Lamar. Don't forget, this guy loafed for his entire career so it just goes to show what someone can do when they put their minds to it. I'm a cynical guy to begin with so I wouldn't put it pass him that the motivation to win is so that his new "show" will bring in more viewers; nothing like having episodes of the "champ & the t_ _ _p" hitting the airwaves! Ratings sell commercial air time and MO MONEY for the "Odomshians."
Posted by: frmkt | December 31, 2010 at 04:11 PM
*
LMAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Happy New Year to you too!!! LOL!

*_________________________________________________________________________*
LAMAR ODOM ALL-STAR GAME OR BUST – NO LO ALL-STAR NO PEACE !! BANDWAGON
*_________________________________________________________________________*
(01) HTJ - OWNER - But on a happier note, how about that Lamar? Finally playing ball like
we'd hoped 5 years ago. 16.6/11.4/3.6/1stl. Sounds like an all-star line to me. And that's a
bandwagon you can throw me on. LO - All Star Game or Bust!
(02) JUSTANOTHERMAMBAFAN – CO/OWNER- Alright - can someone please explain why
I'm not the owner, driver and manager of the Lamar for ASG and 6th Man of the Year
bandwagons?? What's a girl gotta do to get a post about LO read around here? I've been on that
bandwagon since he BECAME a Laker. Geez...


(35) TOM DANIELS - I've been very impressed by LO this year. So far he has been my favorite Laker this season, and I have never come close to saying that before. He has just consistently come out and played hard and played well and done whatever was aksed of him.
(36) 2PHATT- add me to the LO Express, best player on the team
(37) FRMKT - All this fanfare regarding Lamar. Don't forget, this guy loafed for his entire career so it just goes to show what someone can do when they put their minds to it. I'm a cynical guy to begin with so I wouldn't put it pass him that the motivation to win is so that his new "show" will bring in more viewers; nothing like having episodes of the "champ & the t_ _ _p" hitting the airwaves! Ratings sell commercial air time and MO MONEY for the "Odomshians." That being said, whatever his motivation, the team benefits and Kobe will have a shot at number 6, the team gets number 17 and L.A. gets another parade. It works for me.

LakerMike - excellent post. I feel the same way (if less articulately). No one gives credit to the impossible, they just expect it, and then when it doesn't occur, they vilify. Hubris, plain and simple, not to mention entitlement issues.

I'm enjoying the season BECAUSE it's so rare. BECAUSE it's so hard. And BECAUSE the mind-set comes along so infrequently, there is no book on the subject... except for Phil's because he's been there and accomplished it THREE OTHER TIMES! Jeeze... and people complain.

Tom D- I am waiting to see if it's fool's gold as well. I saw the Lakers veer away from the interior also (though Pau not getting the shots didn't bother me, Kobe was posting and passing a lot in his place, and Pau was coming up to the perimeter a lot). The TO's still trouble me, besides Kobe's handles, there were a lot of "forced" passes. And UPS still likes to run through, between and just plain weirdly about players leading to TO's.

Still, I think this is the start of the real season, as everyone's back and building to 100% health (knock on wood), and we finally have our true rotations.

Let 'er rip!

HAPPY NEW YEAR, EVERYBODY… Thanks for making this the best Lakers site in the world.
…………………………………………………………
@ADRIAN ERNESTO CEPEDA… Outstanding post and welcome to the Inside-Out Bandwagon. Mamba, can you start an Inside-Out Bandwagon dedicated to sharing the ball and playing inside-out? Loved the comments about screaming “pass the ball” and “play inside-out.” I’ve had my neighbors courteously knock on the door and ask Mrs. LakerTom to please ask me to tone it down a little as I was doing the same as well as going ouchhhhhh over Pau allowing another easy layup.
………………………………………………………….
@ART… Loved your response on the guns issue. It may be ridiculous, but sometimes you sleep better with a 357 nearby. Also loved your “Perhaps the difference maker was MJ” comment to hobbitmage. You truly do have a wicked sense of misdirection humor, although most of bloggers may not get it.
………………………………………………………….
@LAKERMIKE… Great to hear from you Mike. I loved your post about Three-peats. Very cool and good to know you’re back to posting as we head into 2011.
………………………………………………………….
TO M

three heat can't beat the three peat!!!!!!!

if we are healthy and shoot above 50% no one can beat us.

three heat can't beat the three peat!!!!!!! if we are healthy and shoot above 50% no one can beat us. Posted by: Diandra | December 31, 2010 at 04:39 PM
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The Swagger, the Swagger!!! Preach Diandra, Preach!!!! Happy New Years to you and yours my sister!!

Mamba24- I like to wish you and your family a Happy New year, you're the HEART AND SOUL of this blog, and that's hands down the TRUTH.

And I'm not just saying this, your energy and enthusiasm makes me temporarily forget about my trials of everyday life. It's been my pleasure to travel on this journey with you and the cure, as we seek another championship. "Happy New Year CURE"

Be safe, don't drink and DRIVE. "ALSO DON'T FORGET YOUR LOTTO TICKETS
"

Laker Tom it's been a joy reading your posts this year sir. May the New year provide you with even greater exploits by Drew and the Lakers to write about. I wish the Happiest and most Properous New Year for all 3 generations of the Laker Tom Clan my brother!!!

@2Phatt, I've wished so many people Happy New Years today, that I have no idea if I wished you one or not. But know that I wish you and yours all the Best in the coming New Year sir!! And thank you for your kind words my brother. Carry On!

THE HECK WITH NEW YEARS...IS IT TIME FOR THE GAME YET?

LO has been my favorite Laker on the floor so far this year. I wish him continued success on and off the court. He is definitely deserving of the ASG! I really hope he gets that nod as a reserve.

Art -FL Lakers Fan,

Happy New Year.

Yes, I did cover a lot of ground in my post.

On this arc: Here's the comment I question:

"We could cut that generalized statement down to 4 out of the starting 5 (of the Lakers) lack the character. Kobe does have it."

===========

I agree, that from an individual standpoint Kobe is the hardest working, hates losing, character kinda guy around.

However, why doesn't Kobe practice with the team? Injuries? Maybe.

Why when injured and couldn't play would he not even sit on the bench and offer his support, guidance and motivation to his teammates?

Getting treatment during the game is, in my opinion, a bogus excuse. Why wouldn't someone as committed and dedicated as he is get his treatment at other times of the day/night so he could be there to support his teammates?

my response: I believe that was due to injuries. Consider, have you *EVER*
heard of Kobe not wanting to work out?

re: sitting on the bench. That's a good question. Let's build a context around
this tidbit. Kobe was second to Fisher in terms of consecutive games played.
Weren't Pau & D-Fish complaining about Kobe shooting too much when
Kobe took time off? A four game winning streak happened against weak
teams. "Kobe should pass the ball inside instead of shooting shots" ... I
believe these were the words of D-Fish & Pau. Then a loss. Then Kobe
returns & passes and another loss. Then Phil introduces Pau to Oakley.
That should be the *approximate* context.

So .... if you said that your team wasn't playing the right way. You with your
numerous all-star games, two scoring titles, an MV and copious time
in the video room ... And your team essentially said, "Who are you? No we
don't have to play defense. No we don't have to fight for rebounds. No, we
don't have to move without the ball. Even though a number of us go 1-6 on
the regular. " Would you sit with them? How do you feel about them? How
do you feel about them when they throw you under the bus? Did I forget
to mention the game winners that you *NEEDED* to take because they
couldn't protect a double-digit lead?

you wrote: Kobe may have this 'character", but it's as an individual. He wants to be the best and will work his butt off so he can be. But he has not found a way to translate that to the team on a consistent basis. Practicing with the team would be a good way to do that. Anyway, Kobe is obviously an amazing individual talent. I just don't think history will record him as a great team developer, a person who imbued his team with the same "character", drive and passion he possessed.

my response: I believe you're working under a false assumption. Your
assumption is that it's possible to do this. You base this belief upon what
you believe *others* have done in the past & that the past is equal to the
present. here's why I believe this assumption is false:

#1. Different eras. 20 years ago, when players weren't making nearly as much
$$ coaches were far more authoritarian than they are today. Off the top of
my head, do you think that Red Auberach would have tolerated Shaq's
behavior? Do you think that John Wooden would have tolerated Shaq's
behavior? How do you discipline someone who makes 4 times your salary
& who is actually bringing in customers which pays your salary?

#2. so in terms of general skill sets ... who was more technically skilled,
players 20 years ago or players now? I mean in the fundamentals skills ...

#3. In terms of individual players ... Do you think that Magic had to teach
Kareem how to prepare for a game? Do you think the reverse was true?
Think about what each of them had done in college and what they did in the
pros with and without each other? How many all-stars did Magic play with?
Kareem? Kobe? Won't you find that tilted heavily towards the past?
If you want to bring up MJ, I'll just counter with Pippen & Rodman. Let's
not tarnish the conversation by bringing up the Celtics, ok? :)

Every single player on the Lakers knows that Kobe works out at 5-6 in the am.
Artest got into the gym before 8am only to find Kobe was already there and
sweating. So ... why doesn't anybody get into the gym that early to work out
with him? There's an old saying: You can lead a horse to water, but you can't
make him drink.

Go back to Team USA. What did every player talk about re: Kobe? Intensity.
Preparation. Skill. Work ethic. What happened to every single player
after the Olympics? They got better. Did this happen after the 2004
debacle? What have Caron Butler, J. Powell, T. Ariza all said about working
out with Kobe. We got better because of him. What did Sasha say about
Kobe? I play hurt because my captain plays hurt.

History may not deem him to be a great team player. Isn't this similar to
the Smush Parker affair? I mean, Kobe couldn't make Smush better, but
neither could D-Wade and D-Wade had won a championship. Every one
still says he's a better team player. What about Kwame? How did MJ
do with him? What did Pau do before he came to the Lakers? etc. etc. etc.
I'd like him to be jovial like Magic, with the nifty passes, and be open like
Jerry West, but ... he's neither of those people. He's a flame burning bright
& the mortals that he plays with fear to get burned by his brilliance. You
can't be normal and chase perfection. You have to be "DRIVEN" and that
comes from inside. It can't be taught.

lastly you wrote: You say the Bulls lusted after practice with the same Phil Jackson as coach, but not the Lakers.

Perhaps the difference maker was MJ.

my response: Actually, it was the owner. I posted on this last year. The
defensive philosophy started with the owner. He chose his coaches and
GM based upon the cliche that "Defense wins championships" and the
coaches/GM implemented that cliche by their choice of personnel. How
many teams have sported 3 1st team all nba defense players?

FYI, the reason why I have continued to be concerned about the Magic is
because DH is the dpoy. If Otis smith got him some more help on the
defensive end ... the Magic would crush the league. CRUSH! it's not about
the offense. It's about the defense.

Happy New Year!

*_________________________________________________________________________*
LAMAR ODOM ALL-STAR GAME OR BUST – NO LO ALL-STAR NO PEACE !! BANDWAGON
*_________________________________________________________________________*
(01) HTJ - OWNER - But on a happier note, how about that Lamar? Finally playing ball like
we'd hoped 5 years ago. 16.6/11.4/3.6/1stl. Sounds like an all-star line to me. And that's a
bandwagon you can throw me on. LO - All Star Game or Bust!
(02) JUSTANOTHERMAMBAFAN – CO/OWNER- Alright - can someone please explain why
I'm not the owner, driver and manager of the Lamar for ASG and 6th Man of the Year
bandwagons?? What's a girl gotta do to get a post about LO read around here? I've been on that
bandwagon since he BECAME a Laker. Geez...


(37) FRMKT - All this fanfare regarding Lamar. Don't forget, this guy loafed for his entire career so it just goes to show what someone can do when they put their minds to it. I'm a cynical guy to begin with so I wouldn't put it pass him that the motivation to win is so that his new "show" will bring in more viewers; nothing like having episodes of the "champ & the t_ _ _p" hitting the airwaves! Ratings sell commercial air time and MO MONEY for the "Odomshians." That being said, whatever his motivation, the team benefits and Kobe will have a shot at number 6, the team gets number 17 and L.A. gets another parade. It works for me.
(38) TRESS - LO has been my favorite Laker on the floor so far this year. I wish him continued success on and off the court. He is definitely deserving of the ASG! I really hope he gets that nod as a reserve.

Happy New Year to all in Laker Nation!
May good health and prosperity be yours this coming 2011 !
Peace and goodwill to all.

Everyone, what's up? I just wanted to ask for those who pray, to give some thought to my Papa, that's about to die, he's 87 and lived a long life, he's my inspiration.

On to the All-Star quandry: Is Lamar Odom an All-Star? Under the circumstances of this year, yes he is. Whether starting or coming off the bench, he produces, in the stat sheet, on Highlight reels and is generally liked amongst the NBA Universe.

Is Kevin Love an All- Star? That depends who you ask and what you define as All-Star. A lot of people define an All-Star as someone of worth who plays on a moderate to excellent team. Which shouldn't really have any biased on a player's performance, All-Star games are for the fans/media, there for players to showcase their unique, individual talents for the purpose of entertainment.
Does that sound like Kevin Love?

Oh yeah, the guy who had 30/30 game. The guy who has 15 rebounds in twenty games. The guy is a machine on the boards, he's improving his jump shot and has a great attitude. Should he be in the game from a Basketball sense, yes, that being said, in the mercurial world of newspapers, analysts, and sceptics, he'll probably be left off the roster because of what team he plays on. For shame, he deserves the recognition, for his hard work.

Mo Williams was an All-Star, so was Devin Harris, Mehmet Okur?, Ilgauskus,
even Rashard Lewis (in each conference, respectively). Let's be fair, can't group guards and forwards in the same breadth, saying that, Love, this year, stands up against any of those players and their best year(s).

Happy New Year to all in Laker Nation! May good health and prosperity be yours this coming 2011 ! Peace and goodwill to all. Posted by: Gilbert Battung | December 31, 2010 at 05:22 PM
*
AW HELL YEAH, Now I know it's gonna be a great New Year. Why? Because Gilbert Battung has just checked in. Where the heck you been my brother? Never mind, you're here now and that's all that matters. So before you disappear let me say what a pleasure it has been blogging with you this year and I'd like to wish you and yours the very best New Years sir. Now I can relax cause I know The Lakers will win tonight, The Lakers will 3-Peat and it will be a spectacular New Year! Thank you Gilbert!! Carry On sir!!
*
LO has been my favorite Laker on the floor so far this year. I wish him continued success on and off the court. He is definitely deserving of the ASG! I really hope he gets that nod as a reserve. Posted by: Tress | December 31, 2010 at 05:06 PM
*
Very nice Tress! And I don't know if anyone has welcomed you but Welcome to Lakers Blog and Lakers Nation and Happy New Years to you and yours.


This guy -- Lamar -- is my favorite Laker this season so far!

Lamar rocks!!!! Laker Nation #1!!!!

Laker Tom,

I did catch a couple of quarters during my layoff and could imagine the meltdown going on around here. I had to purposely stay away to keep from getting sedated (Mrs. Rancher has been keeping a dart gun at the ready). We'll see tonight if Phil passes my reminder note to the guys:

Get the ball into the post
Move without the ball
Hit the easy shots.

I don't think I'm asking too much.

JR


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