L.A. Times: Question: Are we unfair to Lamar Odom?
Do we ask too much, expect too much, grow too frustrated when we watch him play, wondering all the while why No. 7 isn’t living up to what we justknow he should be: one of the greats, the next Pippen, the purple-and-gold Robin to Batman Kobe?
Answer: Yes, to all of the above. We are unfair to Lamar Odom, and that’s too bad because it’s something that keeps him from being fully appreciated.
Odom is the Lakers’ great enigma, perhaps the most perplexing, confounding, frustrating player in the NBA. One moment he’s brilliant and daring (Lakers vs. Utah, second-round playoffs, 2008, with an 18.2 scoring average). Next moment he’s, well, he’s out there on the hardwood sort of fumbling about, timid and unsure (Boston, NBA Finals, also 2008, 13.5 scoring average partially propped-up by garbage-time jump shots).
We look at that 6-foot-10 body, at his pterodactyl wingspan, his vast portfolio of skills, and think: “Perennial All-Star.” Then we find that in nine years Odom has never been to an All-Star game but a journeyman like Wally Szczerbiak hasand our first reaction is that this is utterly maddening and pretty much a waste of great talent.
It’s not only us. This preseason, the Lakers have certainly appeared frustrated.