Seems like an interesting experiment.
O.C. Register: Even after Andrew Bynum gets healthy again, Lamar Odom might supplant him in the Lakers’ starting lineup going forward.
That, however, would be one risky shakeup for a team already on track to win it all.
Phil Jackson acknowledged late Wednesday night that his trusted assistants are already lobbying him to make the change to start Odom over Bynum – and he’s going to contemplate it when the Lakers reconvene after the All-Star break.
“My coaches are kind of pushing me in that direction, but I’m not ready yet to do that,” Jackson said. “We won last year with Andrew when he came back at the end of the season, going out there and playing the first quarter and starting the games. Even though he wasn’t 100 percent when came back off his injury last year, he still gave us a lot; he gives us a big front. So I have to measure that and see what’s going to happen with this team in the next couple weeks.”
That revelation is yet another flare in the air for young Bynum to understand that his progress needs to be more consistent, particularly on defense. It is also a testament to Odom’s clear progress as one of Jackson’s most challenging long-term player-development projects, even if Odom never will become the Scottie Pippen of everyone’s dreams.
See, the way things shake out in Jackson’s brilliant-Zenmaster or mumbo-jumbo world is that when you stop sweating individual glory, it winds up finding you.
And a year and a half since Jackson pushed a reluctant, unhappy Odom into a reserve role, Odom no longer cares about that individual status. He even has a sound, stock summation regarding the demotion last season: “I won my first championship coming off the bench.”
So it’s only appropriate in Jackson’s world that the starting job might fall back into Odom’s lap now that he doesn’t necessarily want it.