Lamar Odom: 'They were going to trade me this year no matter what'
Unsurprisingly, two versions of events are emerging surrounding the Lakers trading Lamar Odom to the Dallas Mavericks.
Odom appeared Tuesday on the "Dan Patrick Show," saying that he demanded a trade only after the Lakers' front office didn't guarantee that they'd keep him for the rest of the season.
"That's when I figured out it would happen at any given time," Odom said. "They were going to trade me this year no matter what. They were trying to make the best business move for themselves that didn't have my best interest. Therefore, I kind of had to take control of the situation."
Meanwhile, Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak maintained in an interview Monday that Odom immediately demanded a trade despite the team's front-office efforts to temper his hurt emotions.
Both versions are probably accurate, but it clearly shows how the two sides didn't allow enough time to pass for cooler heads to prevail. Unless your name is Kobe Bryant, it's unrealistic for Odom to expect an organization to guarantee that he wouldn't be dealt, regardless of whether the Lakers wanted to make changes. Meanwhile, the Lakers shouldn't have taken Odom's initial frustration as evidence that it would continue to boil. His whole track record in dealing with adversity clearly shows he would've recovered.
Even if Laker fans believe Odom should have maintained his allegience to the Lakers, no one should fault him for wanting some say in his own business decisions. Same way with the Lakers. But it becomes ever more clear that at least another week of time passing would've provided more clarity on where each party stood.
On another note, Odom revealed that he talked with Lakers forward Luke Walton for two hours after the trade happened but has yet to hear from Kobe Bryant, which is interesting considering that Bryant said after Monday's practice that he had talked with him, though he declined to discuss the conversation. Either Bryant's lying or he didn't say all that much that was memorable to Odom.
— Mark Medina
Email the Lakers blog at firstname.lastname@example.org