Los Angeles Clippers: 5 Ways Lamar Odom's 3rd LA Stint Will Restart His Career
Lamar Odom’s Los Angeles homecoming is just what he needs to resurrect his career. The current Mr. Khloe Kardashian is once again a member of the Los Angeles Clippers, who selected him in the 1999 NBA Draft.
More importantly, he is returning to Staples Center, which is the same arena where he won two NBA Championships with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Odom must take what he has learned in his previous two stints in Los Angeles and use that to jump-start his career once again.
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Even though the Lakers have been the talk of the town, and arguably of the entire league, the Los Angeles Clippers are slowly improving.
Blake Griffin and Chris Paul have quietly been surrounding themselves with proven veterans that can still get the job done.
The team has already signed Grant Hill, Matt Barnes and Jamal Crawford this offseason, as well as Lamar Odom.
Specifically, Odom can play the small forward and power forward given his 6'10 "stature.
According to ESPN, Odom himself has stated that the Clippers are currently deeper than the Lakers.
They may be deeper than their fellow Staples Center tenants, but their versatility will make them better as well. Of course, this can only be tested throughout the duration of the 2012-2013 season. Look for the Clippers to benefit from the all-around play of their small forwards.
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The Clippers’ recent acquisitions have resulted in having one too many players listed as small forwards.
The beauty in that lies in the fact that most of those players can play another position besides their listed role.
The Clippers’ ability to adapt will definitely give them the upper hand in game-planning.
Vinny Del Negro can be creative in this department and create disastrous results for defenders with his team’s newfound versatility.
Odom as a Mentor
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The Clippers currently list Lamar Odom as their backup power forward, according to ESPN.com.
Having Odom as Blake Griffin’s backup is great for the team.
The 32-year old small forward has a well developed mid-range game which Griffin desperately needs to learn in order to take his game to the next level.
He also possesses the veteran leadership which is crucial for winning on a consistent basis, especially when it comes to playoff runs.
Chris Paul already has Chauncey Billups to learn from. Having Odom as Billups’ big-man counterpart can pay dividends for this young Clipper team, considering that they are poised to advance further in the playoffs.
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Los Angeles seems to be the place to be for Lamar Odom’s career. His first two stints in the City of Angels were filled with growing pains and championship glory.
Odom’s time away from Southern California, however, has not treated him well.
He first took his talents to South Beach in the 2003-2004 season, years before the Heat became the team to join in order to compete for a ring.
According to NBA.com, Odom scored 17.1 points per game, which was only .2 points shy of besting his highest average from the 2000-2001 season.
His latest stint outside of Los Angeles did not treat him as well. He put up career-worst numbers in almost every statistical category, most notably scoring 6.6 points per game last season with the Mavericks.
In comparison, Odom has averaged 14.4 points per game as a member of the Lakers and the Clippers. If he is able to get near this mark, then Lamar Odom will have proven to be a worthwhile risk for the Clippers.
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Lamar Odom has the opportunity to show Lakers management that their decision to trade him last season was a mistake.
And what better way to do it than in front of them, in same the arena he has played in for most of his career?
Being part of the Clippers makes Odom and the team possible, if not guaranteed, playoff contenders.
But contending is one thing; winning it all is another.
Odom has the opportunity to best the Los Angeles Lakers now that he is in their division. If the Clippers cannot win the division, they will still surely have a shot at the Lakers in the playoffs.
The very idea of showing up his former employer is all the motivation Odom needs to resuscitate his dwindling career.