Lamar Odom: More Missed Time for Forward Means Lost Season Will Continue

Richard LangfordCorrespondent IFebruary 28, 2012

LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 16: Lamar Odom #7 of the Dallas Mavericks drives down the court against Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on January 16, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. The Lakers won 73-70.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
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The funk that has eclipsed Lamar Odom since the Lakers thought they had traded him for Chris Paul doesn't appear to be going anywhere.

UPDATE: Thursday, March 1st, 6:10 p.m. EDT

If you were hoping to get a look at Lamar Odom in a professional basketball game this weekend, you will have to buy a ticket to the Texas Legends game this Saturday.

ESPN's Marc Stein reports Odom will be back in action, albeit in a D-League warm-up.

Lamar Odom latest: Sources tell ESPN that Odom likely to play one game (Saturday) for Mavs' D-League affiliate to "get his legs back"

— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) March 1, 2012

UPDATE: Thursday, March 1st, 2:30 p.m. EDT

Marc Stein of ESPN reports Lamar Odom will be eased back into action after being given a leave of absence for a personal matter. 

Stein writes: 

Mavericks owner Mark Cuban met in Dallas with Odom and his agent, Jeff Schwartz, to work on a timetable that would ease Odom back after his week long personal leave, perhaps as soon as this weekend.

Stein reports that head coach Rick Carlisle may have an update later in the day on Thursday, but neither Odom nor his agent were available for comment.

He has shown very few flashes of the All-Star caliber player he was just last year, and he has failed to make much of an impact with the Dallas Mavericks

It does not take a stretch of imagination to see that all of the drama of his season has affected his on-court play. And if that is the case then his lost season is going to continue. 

There is just no other conclusion to reasonably draw in light of the recent developments. 

Odom missed the Mavericks' last game, against the Lakers, and will miss at least the next two due to family issues. 

Jeff Caplan of quotes Rick Carlisle on Odom's continued absence. 

Lamar is going to not be with us these two games and then we'll update everybody Thursday as to where we're at. But he's got a tough situation he's going through. We're very supportive as a franchise and we'll let you know Thursday where we are.

Certainly, I hope everything works out okay for Lamar, and there is no doubt that family needs to take precedence over basketball. 

But in terms of his on-court performances, Lamar's head just hasn't been it, and it isn't going to be. 

Odom is putting up the fewest points, rebounds and assists per game of his career. All of these numbers are dramatically down from last season. 

This is more than just a drop off in physical skills. This is the result of a player that can't get his heart into it. 

Things have gotten to a point where Caplan points out that there were rumors that Odom was seeking a buyout of his contract. Mavs owner Mark Cuban denied that with the following quote, offered up by Caplan. 

It hasn't been discussed and we wouldn't do it. We think Lamar can be a huge plus for us. ...Sometimes guys go through issues and we have to deal with them. We always try to support our guys.

Odom is definitely going through some issues. Hopefully he can work through them, but there is no reason to think that will happen anytime soon.