It is a sad moment for every sports fan to see.
Lamar Odom of the Dallas Mavericks who was once the NBA's Sixth Man of the Year is now done for the season after Mavericks owner Mark Cuban confronted Lamar Odom in the locker room during halftime of a game Saturday.
According to ESPNDallas.com, during halftime against the Memphis Grizzlies, Cuban went into the locker room with a question for Odom: Are you "in or out?" I guess Odom wasn't playing up to Cuban's standards, and as we all know, Cuban is not the type to let things go, and that's that.
Who would have thought the 6'10'' skilled and unstoppable combo forward would reach the low point of his career after contending for a title with the Lakers just last season?
With the Lakers letting go of Odom this season, it not only ruined their long-respected relationship, it destroyed Odom's career both mentally and physically. If you have watched Odom play any time this season, you wouldn't have even been able to recognize him; he's slower, lackadaisical and simply does not have the same passion for the game as he used to.
Before he was told he was done for the season, Odom was at an all-time low when it came down to career stats. Averaging 6.6 points, 4.2 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game, it wasn't any secret that Odom had no motivation and no desire to play well in any other city besides Los Angeles. Not only is this heartbreaking, it is more-or-less disappointing to see such a talented and genuinely nice person go from the top of Beverly Hills to the bottom of Dallas Texas.
Just last year, Odom was averaging 14.4 points, 8.7 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game and was having one of the best seasons of his career coming off the bench for the Lakers. Though the Lakers ended up losing to his current Maverick team in a convincing 0-4 sweep, Odom was playing up to his potential and, most importantly, he was happy and motivated.
But, it wouldn't do Odom justice if one didn't mention the style in which he was let go by the team he had played for the last seven years. With the Lakers in a transitional stage, as evidenced by the hiring of Mike Brown and attempt to rebuild an aging team, Odom was put into a no-win situation.
With the new management under Jim Buss, it just happened that Odom was not going to be a part of the Lakers organization moving forward. It may have seemed pointless and ridiculous at the time to let go of one of the most dynamic forwards in the game in Odom for a trade exception, but it eventually made more sense when the Lakers used the trade exception to shop around during the trade deadline, even though they ended up not using it.
When looking back at the situation, the Lakers might be regretting their decision when it came to sending Odom to the Mavericks for the trade exception, but at the end of the day the NBA is a business and with the attitude and reaction that Odom had toward a strictly business decision, it was just time to part ways.
As Odom looks to rediscover himself in this low point in his career, it is a good time to reflect upon the great years he has had in the league. Whatever may happen in the future for Odom, there won't be any regrets in the way he performed as one of the best sixth men in the history of the game. His talent will always be spoken about as the years go by.
The Lakers, the sunny beaches of California and the thrill of playing in the Staples Center in front of celebrities like Mark Wahlberg, Denzel Washington and Jack Nicholson is unmatched in Odom's eyes, but let's not blame him for that.
Don't remember Odom as the emotional wreck that he was as he was leaving the Lakers. Instead, remember the days of watching him take his defenders to school with that unstoppable left-handed drive and finish. It will forever be remembered by all Lakers fans alike and sure as hell will be remembered when people think of one of the most dynamic 6'10'' forwards to play the game.
Take care Odom, and we all wish you the best moving forward.
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