Lamar Odom has tantalized Lakers fans for five years — you can see the multitude of talents, but you rarely ever see them all focused and working together. He seems more interested in music and clothes some days than the sport that pays him millions.
But in his last six quarters of basketball everything has been on display, and it has been a marvel to watch. He attacked Kevin Garnett and fouled out the big man, then hit the game winning free throws in Boston. In Cleveland he was a one-man wrecking crew scoring 28 and grabbing 17 boards — putting up 15 and 10 of those in the decisive third quarter.
After all of that, he flew back to make Russell Simmons' post-Grammy party at a mansion in Beverly Hills Sunday night. Not a bad day.
It begs the question: Has Lamar Odom been woken up?
Word of Bryant's Sunday morning stomach virus hit Odom like a slap in the face. It motivated him to strap on his double set of black tube socks and set the mind that Jackson has tried to get in the game for 3 ½ years.
Odom meditated before the game, just the way Jackson has taught, and visualized scoring success.
"I told myself that the first rebound I got, I was going to take it to the hole and score," Odom said. "It kind of opened the game up for me, and I found the flow of the game when I was able to do that. After that first play, I felt great."
Lakers fans, if you expect Super Odom to show up against Oklahoma City and Utah, this week, you will be disappointed. Since he played at Rhode Island, coaches and fans have been waiting for Lamar Odom to wake up and bring that game he had in Cleveland every night.
But that’s not LO. He’s not wired as an angry competitor. He’s easy going, team first, no big ego. There is a lot to be said for that —the Lakers don’t need two Kobe’s. They need guys like Gasol and Odom who can mesh with the Alpha Dog. Gasol may be more consistent, but when Odom brings it he brings it like no other.
Fans need to accept the Lamar Odom package. The entire thing. The huge games and the mental lapses on defense against the Bobcats. The unquestioned talent and the unquestioned disappearing acts. It’s all part of one player, who at this point in his career is fully formed. What you’ve been getting is what you will get in the future.
And some nights, that can be an amazing thing.