Odom, Jackson React to Suspension

Lamar Odom will miss Wednesday night's game in Houston versus the Rockets, after taking a few steps toward a post-foul altercation during the Lakers' Monday night loss to the Blazers. He was suspended by the league for "leaving the vicinity of the bench area," which is not up for interpretation, really: Odom took steps, assistant coach Kurt Rambis pushed him back, and so he got the automatic suspension.

If he had it to do all over again -- and being one of the more emotional players on the team -- Odom said things likely wouldn't go down any differently the next time.

"I probably would do the same thing over again if I see one of my teammates put under pressure by two guys from the other team," Odom said. "I was no further than when I cheer. I guess I'm on the court when I cheer as well, so I've got to watch that. I might get suspended for that."

Uh, no, Lamar, because, see, when you cheer, you're not in any danger of joining an altercation in progress, and possibly escalating it into something much worse. The sarcasm is great though.

Phil Jackson understands the instinct to protect your teammates, but given the league rules and the situation, he knows that you simply can't act on it.

"When an altercation happens right in front of a team's bench, it's almost impossible for players not to react to help their teammates, especially when somebody like [Brandon] Roy runs up into the fray and really activates everything," Jackson said. "The instinct is to protect your players. Lamar made that step. Other guys had the instinct but didn't make the step, so you know you made a mistake ..."

Mitch Kupchak said that the team "disagrees" with the league's ruling, but really, there's nothing to argue here. Odom left the bench during an altercation, and the penalty for that is a one-game suspension -- it's very cut and dry.

Maybe if there's a next time, Odom will choose to truly help his teammates by staying on the bench and remaining on the active roster, instead of hurting them by joining an altercation that will result in his getting suspended.

Copyright FREEL - NBC Local Media
Contact Us