ODOM’S DOOM: from NBA Champion to a Legend
Nope. It’s not what you think. Lamar Odom is not a legend in its honorable sense. He is in fact a Texas Legend; a relegated NBDL player. For an All-Star and a Champion, that’s about as low as you can go.
But it’s not like he didn’t deserve it. After 32 games with the defending champs, the reality star is averaging 8 points and 4 boards on 35% shooting; all career-low numbers by miles! His averages tell more than how poorly he played. It signified that he wanted no part of Dallas in the first place and his body language showed it completely. He shot three-pointers as if he was Willie Miller in the dying seconds; expected to miss and was surprised if the shot went in. He drove to the basket to commit a turnover not to make a play. If Dirk was not in physical condition, Odom checked out mentally and that’s worse.
Odom’s attitude in Dallas is as discombobulating as Inception. I expected him to play his best ball ever to make the Lakers realize what they lost. But instead he chose to be like a teenage rebel expecting Kobe and Kupchak to pity him. If there ever was an example of unprofessionalism then that might be it.
This child-like behavior is a product of one big thing: a bigger-than-my-balls ego that’s shaped by narcissism and a skewed sense of reality (isn’t that what reality shows are all about?). Lamar Odom is in an extraordinary state of psyche, which (for him) gives him authority to declare he’s sure about himself when he’s not. In his reality show world, he felt that the Lakers treated him poorly when they included him in a package for Chris Paul. Lamar felt sure that he deserved better but because what’s real is blurred for him, it seemed like he thought of himself as a superstar, an NBA player with a “franchise tag”, someone who’s untradeable, someone like his teammate. When killjoy Stern nixed the trade, Gasol moved on, Scola understood that it was all part of the business and so did everyone else; except for one.
After 13 years in the League, you expect Odom to know that the NBA is a business. I think he knew it was but he forgot about it. It’s hard to point out how he did but maybe it’s the Kardashian or the Hollywood effect that twisted his system into making poor decisions. He really did keep up with the Kardashians. They really fall for D’heads don’t they?
[In generously being fair to him, the death of his cousin in a car accident (in which he was a passenger and that killed another teenager) may have contributed to his listless effort. But what about Ryan Reyes of Talk n’ Text? Or Thomas Robinson of the Kansas Jayhawks? These guys were in the same situation but they played inspired ball instead of KSP ball.]
Even if he never plays a single minute with the Texas Legends, being thrown to a D-League affiliate is a disciplinary spit on the face he deserved. It definitely isn’t as catastrophic as Marion Jones’ or Z Gorres’ fall from grace but Lamar Odom won’t have any of our pity like both of the latter did. I’m sure he’ll get a chance to make-up. After all, it’s how you rise from a fall that gets more attention.