Sports

NBA Rumors: Phil Jackson Weighs in On Lamar Odom’s Lakers Return

| by Alex Groberman

Lamar Odom is currently without an NBA team. Although he has consistently maintained that he is not ready to hang up his jersey yet, the 33-year-old’s recent history speaks for itself. Last year, with the Los Angeles Clippers, he averaged four points and six rebounds in 20 minutes of action per game. The prior season, with the Dallas Mavercks, he averaged seven points and four rebounds in 21 minutes of action per game. In both cases, the teams he played for weren’t left particularly impressed with his conditioning or ability to contribute.

It’s easy to forget that just two seasons ago, Odom was a Sixth Man of the Year playing some of the best basketball he had ever played. Sure, the totals may not have been as high as the ones he put up when he was a centerpiece with the Clippers (the first time around) and Miami Heat, but they were far more meaningful. We all know what happened, though. He got Kardahianed. Then he got traded in a vetoed Chris Paul trade. And then he got traded in a real trade.

A few weeks ago, we began hearing whispers that the Lakers were interested in giving him another look. This culminated in a supposed meeting between him and members of the organization – one that nobody actually confirmed or denied. Because Odom has always been such a massive fan favorite among purple and gold faithful, this was met with a lot of positivity. Not because of Odom’s potential contributions, of course, because he looks pretty much done, but just because it would be a good way to provide some stability to a guy who seems to desperately need it.

Unfortunately, it looks like the odds of Odom returning to the Lakers are getting slimmer by the day. The Lakers looked fantastic in their season opener against the Clippers, and it’s unlikely that Mike D’Antoni will want to shake up all of the chemistry and positivity with an unnecessary distraction. Moreover, in a recent interview with TMZ, former Lakers coach Phil Jackson said that he suspected ‘the bridge might have been burned’ when it comes to Odom and Lakers brass. He elaborated on this in this preview:

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The good news for Odom is this: the Lakers are stacked at the guard positions. That means if they do decide to add someone, it will be a big. And the longer they hold out on adding someone, the less options there are for them to pick someone besides him.