Los Angeles Lakers' forward Lamar Odom is frequently the subject of trade rumors, the general belief being that at some point the mercurial big man will find some semblance of consistency in his game. Around the league, he has value because of his tremendous versatility – there is no other 6-10 player in the league that can handle the ball or pass as well as Odom can – but the nagging issues with his motivation and production remain.
Still, there are teams out there that could use Odom's ability to grab rebounds and push the ball up the court. Or, if nothing else, they could use his $14.1-million expiring salary to free up cap space to use in free agency during the summer.
Now in his tenth season in the league, Odom told HOOPSWORLD that the rumors and speculation are not something that bothers him. "It's part of it, it's part of the business of the game," he commented. "It doesn't bother me at all."
But Odom did admit that the business side of the NBA life is something that he looks to avoid, preferring to focus on his play on the hardwood. That other side of things, he said, "takes some of the innocence away from the game."
In essence, that is who Lamar Odom is. A purist at heart, Odom still plays the game with a sense of joy, finding pleasure that the game is as simple as it is. After all, basketball requires nothing more than a bouncing sphere of leather filled with air, a hoop, and preferably a pair of rubber-soled high-tops; none of the extra padding or equipment associated with football or baseball. That simplicity, where no one has any stratified role (protect the quarterback's blind side or get three outs to end a game) is what Odom thrives under, as he's able to do a little bit of everything on the court.
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