Dallas Mavericks forward Lamar Odom finished with one point, one rebound, one assist, one steal and one turnover in Wednesday night’s loss versus the Los Angeles Lakers. It was just the latest embarrassment in a year filled with them for the reigning NBA Sixth Man of the Year. (At one point he was bumped down to the D-League.)
By now, everyone knows how Odom got to where he is now. After arguably his best season as a member of the Lakers last season, the organization tried to package him in a deal for Chris Paul. David Stern vetoed that transaction, but Odom’s feelings were hurt in the process. He demanded a trade (although he later disputed this). L.A. obliged, shipping him off to the Mavs.
Initially, nobody could figure out why the Lakers’ (traditionally) rational management team would peddle the team's most versatile player to a squad that swept them from the postseason last year.
Nobody is asking that question anymore.
Over the course of this season, Odom is averaging seven points, two assists and four rebounds in 21 minutes of action. Unsurprisingly, all are career lows.
So why has Odom’s game fallen off a cliff? Everyone seems to have a theory.
Here was Kobe Bryant’s take, following Wednesday night’s win (via ESPN):
“He comes to a team that’s pretty much set, you know what I mean? So it’s hard for him to find his niche. The fans, they don’t really understand what he does or how he can do it, you know what I mean?
“I hope they don’t unlock that mystery. I know. I know how to use him and to use his skill set and this, that and the other. But with this team, the roster that they had being pretty much set, it’s tough for him to be able to find his groove here.”
Odom himself blames something (or someone) else for his woes (reportedly.) Via Reality Tea:
A new report from In Touch Weekly (via their print edition) claims Lamar is blaming Khloe–and the Kardashian television dynasty–or his basketball troubles! Also upsetting the NBA star was filming Khloe & Lamar in the midst of the trade, their fertility issues, and a big move. In fact, insiders are insisting things are really bad for the seemingly unbreakable couple.
“He resents the show for taking his focus off the game,” a source close to Lamar reveals. The source adds that Lamar feels reality television and his association with the Kardashians has ruined his reputation! And Lamar is blaming the show for his trade to Dallas and the all the scrutiny over his personal life for his basketball woes.
Even Dirk Nowitzki has a theory on why his team’s big name offseason acquisition is struggling. Via NBC Sports:
“As a shooter, as a player, if you get a little hesitant, it’s over,” Nowitzki said. “Once you start thinking in this game, that’s tough.”
So there you go. Nobody really knows what needs to be done to pull Odom out of his funk, but everyone agrees he’s in one.
The Lakers shipping him out to the Mavericks doesn’t seem so stupid now, does it?