The Clips traded for the Candy Man this offseason and there isn’t a team in the entire NBA—not even the Lakers—that’s more perfect for Odom to regain his swagger with. Expect nothing less than a return to Sixth Man of the Year form this season.
Sometimes we go through things in life that hold us back. But you won't ever see that again. I've put that behind me and now it's time to move forward. It's time to be fresh and get back to that aggressive style of basketball I was playing when I did win Sixth Man of the Year (with the Lakers in 2011).
Odom has a chip on his shoulder. Because of that, opposing teams should be terrified. Now, would that chip stay there if he was on, say, the Cleveland Cavaliers?
Odom is naturally a lackadaisical player. While he was a key cog in the Lakers’ back-to-back NBA titles, at times, his inconsistency was mind-numbing. But back in the Staples Center, he’ll never lose his focus.
The Lakers traded him for Chris Paul and it broke his heart. Then, he demanded a trade and they shipped him out of Hollywood for a bag of potato chips (sure, that bag of potato chips turned into Steve Nash, but I highly doubt Odom sees it that way). Every single time Odom walks into the Staples Center or sees Paul’s face, he’ll be reminded of the team that spurned him despite his attachment to them.
But Odom will have far more than internal motivation fueling his fire. He’ll be playing alongside two of the most intense competitors in the NBA—two competitors that have been co-signed by the King of Intensity himself, Kobe Bryant.
Pedro Moura of ESPN reported that after the Clippers defeated the Lakers in January, Bryant praised CP3’s passion and compared the floor general to himself. He said:
He’s a dog. He’s going to fight to win, and not too many teams can deal with him. Chris Paul is really the only other guy in the league, other than Derrick Rose, who also has that competitive edge.
Back in 2011, Lisa Dillman of the Los Angeles Times reported that Kobe gave Griffin props after leading the Clippers to a win over the Lake Show saying, “Blake just punked us.” And according to Ramona Shelbourne of ESPN, Bryant also gave Griffin the green light this season to, “Smack the (expletive) out of somebody.”
Odom will never be short on motivation in a Clipper uniform. If his focus ever does waver, though (I mean, he’s surrounded by Kardashian’s, give him a break), Paul and Griffin will be there to smack some sense into him.
David Daniels is a featured columnist at Bleacher Report and a syndicated writer.