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Category: Lamar Odom

Poll: Questions surrounding the Lakers' 2011-2012 season

Lamar Odom/Kobe Bryant

It quickly became a pretty tired exercise for Laker fans.

They love chatting about various numbers, such as whether the purple & gold can win its 17th championship or if Kobe Bryant can ever eclipse 38,387 points to become the NBA's all-time leading scorer. Instead, they found themselves each week in The Times' Lakers blog's weekly chat debating the merits of a 50-50 split in basketball-related income or what harsher luxury taxes would do to the Lakers' $91-million payroll.

Such debate won't necessarily die down, but it no longer will happen under a cloud of doubt about whether there will be a 2011-2012 season. With the 66-game season slated to start on Christmas Day, Laker fans can finally focus on what's happening on the court. To get that conversation started, vote in a series of polls after the jump. I'll provide an analysis post at some point this week.

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Lamar Odom reportedly to play for Turkish team

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Although both players and owners hold out hope they can reach a labor deal this weekend, Lakers forward Lamar Odom has apparently already made contingency plans.

According to ESPN.com's Marc Stein, Odom has agreed in principle to play for the Turkish basketball team, Besiktas, as early as next week. Should the NBA lockout persist at least through next week, Lakers forward Lamar Odom plans to play for the Turkish basketball team, Besiktas, until the work stoppage ends.

Should that happen, Odom's overseas gig would mark a homecoming of sorts for his strong role in Team USA's FIBA World Championship's gold-medal win last summer in Istanbul. Although Odom's wife, Khloe Kardashian is of Armenian descent, the reality television star reportedly remains popular in over there as well. 

PHOTOS: Lamar Odom through the years

Therefore, Odom's stint would prove beneficial in other facets. Odom, whose two-year $17 million contract with the Lakers includes only $2.4 million in guaranteed money, will reportedly earn over $2 million with an opt-out-clause from Besiktas. His overseas venture would most likely enhance his conditioning and focus much like the way his FIBA World Championship proved instrumental in Odom clocking his most consistent effort in the 2010-2011 season. And with Odom spending plenty of time this offseason promoting his branding efforts with the Kardashians, this stint would only expand that profile. In turn, Besiktas reportedly pursued Odom because of his versatility, his friendship with New Jersey Nets guard and Besiktas frontliner Deron Williams and a manageable contract.

But first things first. Negotiations will start again Friday in hopes the NBA season can start by Christmas Day. 

RELATED:

Lamar Odom should play overseas

Turkish team reportedly pursuing Lamar Odom

Lamar Odom may play in Europe in 2012

 --Mark Medina

E-mail the Lakers blog at [email protected]

Photo: Lamar Odom. Credit: Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times

Lamar Odom should play overseas

With the NBA lockout continuing, Lamar Odom should play overseas
Amid an uncertain off-season, Lakers forward Lamar Odom played overseas last year, arrived in training camp in the best of shape and churned out his most consistent effort of his NBA career.

Consider that and his stint with Team USA in the FIBA World Championships when predicting what would happen if he accepted a bid to play with the Turkish basketball team Besiktas. It's not crucial that Odom play with Besiktas, as ESPN.com's Marc Stein reported the Lakers' forward has considered doing. It's more important that Odom plays somewhere, should the NBA lockout continue.

Measure the value of such a stint any way you like.

PHOTOS: Lamar Odom through the years

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Turkish team reportedly pursuing Lamar Odom

Lamar Odom

After unsuccessfully pursuing Kobe Bryant, the Turkish basketball team, Besiktas, has moved its courtship to another high-profile Laker.

Lakers forward Lamar Odom appears to be the next target, ESPN.com's Marc Stein reports. New Jersey Nets guard Deron Williams, who signed with the team earlier this offseason, has reportedly urged the club to add Odom to the roster, while Odom, himself, has given it serious consideration.

Whether this actually happens, however, remains to be seen. After all, Besiktas, all but declared Bryant's signing a done-deal this summer before revealing complications in securing a sponsor so it could pay the Lakers' star. Minnesota forward Kevin Love also turned down the chance to play with the Istanbul-based team. 

PHOTOS: Lamar Odom through the years

Still, the Turkish team is reportedly looking to add a player to its frontline, such as Odom, Nuggets center Nene and Suns center Marcin Gortat, after Besiktas lost Cavaliers forward Semih Erden to a thumb injury. Meanwhile, Odom has past history in Turkey when he played a strong role in Team USA's gold-medal victory in the 2010 FIBA World Championships in Istanbul. Odom also faces some insecurity with the Lakers. His two-year, $17 million contract with the Lakers includes a team option in the 2012-2013 season. The Times' Broderick Turner also reported the Lakers attempted to trade Odom prior to the NBA draft to the Minnesota Timberwolves for their No. 2 pick.

That's why it's not surprising Odom tweeted to forward Pau Gasol if he knew of any available European gigs. It turns out Besiktas just might be one of them. 

RELATED:

Lakers offer of Lamar Odom for No. 2 pick in NBA draft rejected by Timberwolves

Lamar Odom may play in Europe in 2012

Lamar Odom should make 2012 U.S. Olympic team

--Mark Medina

E-mail the Lakers blog at [email protected]

Photo: Lamar Odom in Game 2 of the Lakers first-round playoff series this year against Dallas. Credit: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times

NBA lockout: Everyone's talking about the talks

Billy Hunter--The Times' Mike Bresnahan notes that the NBA players union will meet Thursday in New York "to either provide a few details on upcoming negotiation strategy or to bridge a chasm of differences, depending on what you believe."

--Sports Illustrated's Sam Amick explores the relationship between Derek Fisher and Billy Hunter. 

--NBA.com's Steve Aschburner focuses on the role the courts might play in the NBA lockout. 

 --NBA.com's Fran Blinebury goes through the lockout alphabet. 

--ESPN the Magazine's Chris Broussard reports that Fisher, during a Tuesday night conference call with the union's executive committee, denied secretly meeting with NBA Commissioner David Stern.

--The Orange County Register's Kevin Ding praises Lamar Odom for becoming more focused and responsible after marrying Khloe Kardashian.

--Ball Don't Lie's Kelly Dwyer criticizes Jerry Stackhouse for suggesting that more agents need to be involved in the lockout negotiations. 

--ESPN Los Angeles' Arash Markazi talks to Jerry West, who says he wouldn't have been able to ensure that Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant would stay together on the Lakers.

--ESPN Los Angeles' Stephen A. Smith argues that it's a good thing that Fisher is considering accepting a 50-50 split in basketball-related income. 

--Silver Screen and Roll's Ben R. looks at some of the players the Lakers could pursue because of the amnesty clause. 

Tweet of the Day: "Once upon a time before 24/7 coverage & social media, NBA locked out its players. They came to a deal in Jan., played 50 games & it was fine" -- FisolaNYDN (New York Daily News' Frank Isola)

Rick Friedman Reader Comment of the Day: "What on earth is with this notion that the Lakers have the wherewithal to pursue Paul or Williams in free agency? How is that remotely possible? The Lakers aren't by any stretch of the imagination going to be major players in the free agent market for a long, long time with lots of money tied down in Kobe, Gasol, and Bynum and they'll almost certainly be capped out and paying the luxury tax for at least the next three or four years." -- Benjamin Rosales

-- Mark Medina

E-mail the Lakers blog at [email protected]

Photo: Billy Hunter, executive director of the NBA Players Assn. Credit: David Karp / Associated Press

What I would've tweeted during Lakers-Thunder game

Derek Fisher

At about this time, I would've been writing preview posts for the Lakers' season opener tonight against the Oklahoma City Thunder. In a few hours, I would've been driving to Staples Center, listening to Lakers talk on the radio and envisioning the beginning of another fun-filled season. Then I would've lived it, watching the game behind the basket, hosting our live game chat, tweeting updates and then talking to players in the locker room afterward.

Instead, I have to endlessly hear about basketball-related income, revenue sharing and amnesty clauses. Worse, I have to wonder when the season will ever start. It's surely a depressing time for basketball fans, and it got me thinking what I would've tweeted had this Lakers-Thunder game actually taken place...

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Lakers' Halloween costume ideas

Halloween

Finally, we can avoid talking about the NBA lockout and dive into more important issues. You know, such as, what Halloween costumes would suit various Lakers. 

Kobe Bryant: Michael Myers. Yeah, the easy answer would be for Bryant to just dress up as the Black Mamba. But that's boring. Plus, dressing up as the "Halloween" horror figure both speaks to Bryant's longevity and the urban legend that Myers and Bryant are invincible.

Pau Gasol: Zorro. More likely than not, Gasol would prefer dressing up as a doctor because of his strong interests in the medical field. But dressing up like Zorro could add some spice after experiencing such a depressing playoff performance. No one would think Gasol is soft when he's carrying a sword. Plus, the man knows his espanol.

Andrew Bynum: Hugh Hefner. Parties at the Playboy Mansion last weekend went for at least $1,000 per person. Something tells me Bynum wouldn't have had a problem getting in at all, especially after celebrating there in style three years ago.

Metta World Peace: Hippie. Ron Artest may have to borrow some Grateful Dead T-Shirts from Luke Walton. But if Ron Ron really wants to live up to his mantra, he's going to have to change his hip-hop driven wardrobe a little bit.

Derek Fisher: Robin Hood. As the NBA Players Assn. president, Fisher's not exactly cast among the general public as fighting for the poor. But in the players union's mind, they likely see NBA Commissioner David Stern as the Sheriff of Nottingham, finding ways to collect taxes ... err basketball related-income ... as much as he can. 

Lamar Odom: Overstuffed M&M outfit. I know, I know, the whole Odom candy bit is so two years ago. But there's no denying Odom loves Halloween. Wearing a large candy outfit will make it easier to collect candy, and to hand them out to trick-or-treaters. 

RELATED:

Comparing the Lakers with cartoon characters

--Mark Medina

Email the Lakers blog at [email protected]

Photo credit: Gary Friedman / LAT

Lamar Odom visits hometown in Nike commercial

Should the NBA lockout persist, one of the few ways Laker fans will catch a glimpse of Lamar Odom will be on Nike and Life Foundation commercials. Of course, there will also be red-carpet spottings and E! appearances with Khloe Kardashian. But let's hope Odom's ventures will involve more Nike commercials like the one above than another season of Khloe and Lamar.

The commercial's concept involves a nostalgic feel where he's returning to his Jamaica Queens, N.Y., hometown to the backdrop of Salley's "Born to Win." Odom dribbles through the halls of  Christ the King High, stares at the Catholic League City Championship trophy he won his sophomore season and,in a closeup shot, show offs new star tattoos sported on the back of his head.

To juxtapose Odom's presently glorious NBA life, the commercial also features various snapshots of Odom's humble origins. He visited Frederick B. Judge Playground, where he became a fixture as a top New York City preps prospect. He reunites with unspecified hometown friends, something Odom does to this day every offseason. And he makes routine visits to a music store and ice cream shop.

Throughout it all, Odom appears very content with the long road he's traveled, while mindful of the twists and turns he took along the way. Clearly, this commercial trumps anything "Khloe and Lamar" could ever offer in an episode.

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Kobe Bryant stars in Italian Nike commercial

Lamar Odom should make 2012 U.S. Olympic team

Lamar Odom, Khloe Kardashian to mark 2nd anniversary

--Mark Medina

Email the Lakers blog at [email protected]

Lamar Odom should make 2012 U.S. Olympic team

Lamar Odom

Through his television screen, Kobe Bryant saw Lamar Odom provide the hustle plays, cross-court passes and versatile skill set for Team USA in the 2010 FIBA World Championships that made him such a valuable part of the Lakers. In this case, the services came at playing the center position. 

"Lamar getting 15 rebounds in the gold medal match playing center?" Bryant said during training camp last year. "That shows the versatility that we have as a country when it comes to basketball."

Through his phone, Bryant heard Coach Mike Krzyzewski endlessly compliment Odom's locker room presence, positive attitude and ability to adapt to roles.

"He was really raving about him," Bryant recalled. "He said he was the leader on that team, bringing guys together and telling them what they need to do to get to that championship level."

And whether that would translate into a spot for Odom on the 2012 Olympic team? Although most of the 2008 Redeem Team, including Bryant, is likely to return, he didn't hesitate one bit when asked about Odom's prospects. Said Bryant: "He has a great chance."

He should. Odom sees a crowded field much like he did last season when he was left off the 2011 Western Conference All-Star team. But he's truly deserving of another Olympic bid after being part of the 2004 team that finished with a bronze medal.  

USA will need his size to counter Spain's post presence in Pau and Marc Gasol, Serge Ibaka and Nikola Mirotic. His ability to play and defend multiple positions becomes a necessity in international basketball. Odom's experience and leadership qualities fulfill Krzyzewski's preference for having a veteran player who holds everyone together. 

Odom surely faces competition for a roster spot with Blake Griffin, Kevin Love, Tyson Chandler, LaMarcus Aldridge and Kendrick Perkins. But with a team that will require players able to adapt everywhere, Odom's the perfect fit. 

RELATED:

Lamar Odom's participation in 2010 FIBA World Championships could prove critical in early season

Kobe Bryant makes right decision in choosing to play in 2012 Olympics

--Mark Medina

Email the Lakers blog at [email protected]

Photo: Team USA center Lamar Odom hit the ground during a World Cup Championship quarterfinal basketball match versus Russia in Istanbul. Credit: MUSTAFA OZER / AFP/Getty Images

Lamar Odom, Khloe Kardashian to mark 2nd anniversary

Lamar OdomTo think, it was only two years ago today that Lamar Odom had an abrupt wedding one day into training camp. It provided everyone from former Coach Phil Jackson to Lakers fans alike more ammunition to believe that Odom's latest venture had provided yet another example of his oft-misplaced focus.

Instead, Odom's marriage to reality television star Khloe Kardashian only a month after meeting her at Ron Artest's party marked a turning point for the better. His 2009-2010 season still provided inconsistent moments, but Odom finally had the balance he lacked in other years in which close friends and family latched onto his payroll. That followed with the 2010-2011 season where he proved capable of balancing both his reality television branding efforts into his most consistent season.

Some roll their eyes at Odom's marriage to Kardashian. It is also sappy to see how this bond has forged tacky branding efforts such as their corny Khloe and Lamar TV show, a ridiculous unisex fragrance called Unbreakable and Odom tweeting the following: "2 years down and an eternity to go. Even in the after life there will be Khlo and LO."

As ironic and ludicrous as it sounds however, Odom's reality television star grounded him and sharpened his focus. As Odom once said to me last year, "She's the best coach I ever had, bro." That's because as busy as his life has become, it's actually settled him down and helped him stay better organized. 

It remains to be seen whether the Lakers can benefit from that next season, considering Odom's two-year, $17-million contract makes him attractive trade bait. But regardless of anyone's love or dislike for Kardashian's reality TV ventures, Lakers fans should be grateful Odom found the one who can bring out the best in him on and off the court. 

RELATED:

Lamar Odom's marriage to Khloe Kardashian and busy schedule helped ensure his focus for 2010-2011 season

Should Lamar Odom appear on reality television next season?

Lamar Odom should remain a reserve

-- Mark Medina

Email the Lakers blog at [email protected]

Photo credit: Juan Ocampo / Andrew D. Bernstein Associates Photography Inc. / April 3, 2011

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