Lamar Odom is 32 years old. Lately, though, he's been behaving like a three-year-old. Boston Celtics' Glen Davis is called Big Baby. Wrong. Odom is the real big baby.
Last Thursday, when he was still a Laker, Odom was included in a trade for Chris Paul that was obviously assembled on the fly. General Manager Mitch Kupchak didn't have time to alert Odom that he was being shipped to New Orleans as part of a three-team deal. No time to soothe hurt feelings. So Odom found out about the trade second-hand, from a reporter. But no sooner than the trade was assembled, it was nixed by NBA commisioner David Stern. So within hours, the multi-skilled forward was a Laker, not a Laker, then a Laker again.
That was too much for Odom's sensitive psyche. After the trade collapsed he was expected to report to training camp, to a team that had just tried to unload him. He brooded publically, moaning in a interview with radio-talk show host Stephen A. Smith that he felt disrespected. Angry, Odom refused to report to Laker camp and demanded a trade. So Kupchak, in a hastily assembled deal, sent him to Dallas, essentially for nothing in return.
Kupchak no doubt felt that an unhappy Odom would be a liability to the Lakers. Under normal conditions,
he mentally checks out from time to time and plays badly. A brooding Odom would definitely have those lapses more often. Bottom line. Like a spoiled, sulking kid throwing a tantrum, he forced the trade.
Odom should be ashamed of himself. What an infantile whiner. How unprofessional, how selfish. Just because Kupchak didn't have time to hold his hand through the first trade talks, he didn't want to be a Laker any more.
Odom, who's been traded twice before--by the Clippers and Miami--still doesn't get it. The NBA is a multi-billion-dollar business. The Lakers were making a business deal. Nothing personal. No place for emotions. But he let his emotions come bursting in and crash went the Lakers.
Now there's a big hole in the Laker rotation where Odom, the NBA's reigning Sixth Man of The Year, used to be. The Lakers signed ex-Pacer Josh McRoberts (7.4 points, 5.3 rebounds) to fill the gap. An OK player, he's nowhere as skilled and versatile as Odom.
The Dwight Howard deal is dead and the Chris Paul deal is almost dead. So after all this, the end result is that the Lakers are without one of their best players. So the team isn't as good as it was last year and Odom is now a member of the Dallas Mavericks, the team that dismembered the Lakers in the playoffs. He's in great shape, but the Lakers......?
Thanks a lot, Lamar.