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Let’s be honest with ourselves, Lamar Odom has not turned into the All-Star we all wanted him to be and has had constant pressure on himself to be Kobe’s “Scottie Pippen”. But, with the trade of Pau Gasol and the emergence of Andrew Bynum, Lamar can finally relax and let the game come to him. He is now at best the 3rd option and has shown he is more relaxed in Gasol’s first few games with the Lakers.

There have been many fans saying that Odom should be traded because once Bynum comes back he will not be comfortable at the small forward position mainly because Odom is not a perimeter shooter and his rebounding will drop because he will not be playing down on the block.

Also, there have been questions as to what he will do when he has to guard the opponent’s 3 man who is quicker than him. I have heard all of the criticism and questions and believe that Lamar Odom will be fine when he moves over to the 3 position.

First, Odom is one of the most athletic players in the game today and has played multiple positions throughout his career.

Who remembers when the Clippers played him at point guard?

Lamar is a player who can rebound on the defensive end and run the entire floor and score. It never hurts to have a tall player in your lineup that can do that. Lamar also pushes the ball on the break and looks to get other players involved. Especially now with Gasol, he will be looking to set up his teammates more and more and does not have to worry about scoring. We all know Odom is a triple-double waiting to happen and can fill up the stat sheet, partly because of his athletic ability.

Second, Odom’s rebounding is key for this team to go anywhere in the playoffs. Bynum might not be 100% until next season and Gasol is not known for his rebounding. Odom shows that tenacity to hit the boards and has the desire to help out the team in that capacity. Gasol is also not always going to be down on the block because he has a mid-range jump shot that he can use at any point.

Bynum and Odom did not have trouble splitting the rebounds during Bynum’s great start to the season before his injury. Rebounding is something that is key to winning championships. Look at the Chicago Bulls championships in the late 1990s. Dennis Rodman was a rebounding machine for them, which was key for them to win. I feel that Odom can be the rebounding player on the court at any point in the game.

Third, Odom does play good defense, not great defense. I know he will be playing against quicker type players then when he was playing the 4 position, but Lamar does have the ability to keep those players in check. I am not saying he will shut them down, but he will do a good job. I mean Luke Walton is not the best defensive player in the world and he was starting at the 3 for almost 2 seasons. Also, having a frontcourt of Odom, Gasol and Bynum will be pretty hard to stop and one of the biggest frontlines of all time.

As of right now, there is no need to trade Odom for a more traditional small forward because we have not seen him play with Gasol and Bynum. He will flourish when the team is completely healthy because he will not be pressured to score points. He can just sit back wait for the opposing teams to double on Bynum or Gasol and just wait for the easy points to come to him. He can focus more on his rebounding and passing abilities to set up his teammates for easy shots. Not only will this help the Lakers as a team, but it will cause mismatches for the opponents.

Now that the pressure is off Lamar Odom, he can finally loosen up and play to his strengths, even at the 3.

  • Kim The pimp MCDaddy

    Good article, i also think it will work out just fine with this big linup..
    And even if it doesnøt well be fine, beacuse we can beat every team (we’ve just shown that) with either Kobe – Odom – Gasol or Kobe-Odom-Bynum, so if it doesnøt work one of them can come of the bench and we can put Ariza in instead…
    If this happens our starters wont have to play more than 30 minutes a game, and we’ll probably have the best bench in the NBA…

    But i truelt believe that fisher-kobe-odom-gasol-Bynum will work out…

    LAKERS CHAMPS 08!!!

    in 2013 Kobe will have 8 Championchips, 5 final MVPs 2 Season MVPs, and for once people will see how great he his.
    He is right there with Michael Jordan…!

  • varsityoptimism

    woah kim. DREAM BIG!

  • Kim The pimp MCDaddy

    And by the way, who can stop Odom!
    He’s an all-rounder.

    And for sure he has HOF skills! are you kidding me? he’s fantastic not just HOF but HALL OF FAMER SKILLS, and by being the 4. option he’ll show it..!

    Hutli hut heya DÃNEMARK!

  • jamez

    Anyone who thinks Lamar will NOT work, is (i think) an idiot. He is soooooo talented, its just not going to be fair against opposing teams when Bynum gets back. You can be sure Lakers will be closing out games now. Unlike the past 2-3 seasons, where we’d lose to those lowly Eastern Conference teams, teams that we “should have” beat easily. Good read mate.

  • 187 ON BOSTON

    He is playing much better without so much pressure on him. I was just about to stop calling him Lame-ar. but then he missed 3 layups so to me he is still Lame-ar. his lameness is at a much lower level tho.

  • Phant0M

    Great article.

  • ZenMaster23

    Lamar won’t be missing as many layups when he is playing against a 3 guard. Right now at the 4 he has to contend with the length of players at that position. Moving to the 3 will allow for easier buckets especially since the other players will be busy guarding Gasol and Bynum.

    Regarding his inability to defend quicker 3 guards on the parameter, with Bynum and Gasol guarding the paint, I don’t see many guards willing to take it to the hole. This means Lamar can use his length to contend their jumpshots from outside.

    All in all I see this working out very well for the Lakers. Plus you have a player in Lamar who can play almost any position should someone go down with an injury in the next few seasons.

  • Keep Odom

    Good article. I have to admit that I have been a harsh critic of Odom until recently. One of my co-workers told me the day that we got Pau, “watch how much better Odom is going to play” he was 100% right. Odom is comfortable being either the 1st or 3rd scoring option. In some ways being the 2nd scoring option carries so much pressure. I have noticed that his scoring comes from his cuts to the basket or off of double teams. He is perfect at this position and I cannot think of anyone better I would rather have. Besides, as far as match up problems, it is other teams that are going to have a hard time matching up with us because of Odom.

  • getgasol

    I fully agree. I think Odom is the most improved player since Gasol came. He is great in our new system.

  • xtro

    True that. Lamar is long, athletic and ferocious on the boards. The only player I will trade for Lamar is Artest.

  • T-Dub

    All he needs is that fire in his eyes, and he will stop flipping that ball up at the rim and throw it down every time he gets close. He might get it!

  • laker in AZ

    I would honestly keep Lamar over the option of trading for Artest any day. It’s really good to see that he’s stepping up and pro actively engaging himself into the foundation of the team. I respect him a lot for overcoming his childs death and just pressing through all the criticisms. He’s emerging into a great basketball player and I cannot imagine him in another uniform. So can you all stop talking bout the Artest bullshit and just respect the guy and give him some credit.

  • Laker4Life

    [Comment ID #26985 Will Be Quoted Here]

    I really hope thats what the future will hold for the Lakers and us Laker Fans.

  • rasarx

    I agree with the basic point of the article that Lamar has done better since the Gasol was kidna… was acquired because there is now less pressure on him. That is the fundamental problem I have with him. He does not do well under pressure. To do well for him the focus has to be on others. To me, that’s a flaw. Can the team do OK with that flaw? Maybe. Right now the times are good. As long as there is a Bynum or a Gasol to be a higher scoring option than Lamar perhaps his flaw will be unexposed. It’s weird but it’s as though when Bynum went down, we also lost Lamar. I have a problem with that. I like the guy’s versatility and quiet work ethics but that one flaw can cost the team. I doubt a trade is going to happen this season but I hope somehow he learns to deal with whatever anxiety he has about being in any kind of a spotlight.

  • daboss1848

    wow – some actual partial love for LO . . . have u guys turned your attention on trading Luke, is that why?

    LO gets the least respect I’ve seen in a long time from the referees. He rarely gets the calls other veterans players get (in fact he rarely gets the calls rookies get). He gets called for fouls that are either nonexistent or had no effect on the shooter (aka ticky tacks). Last night, he got a technical for throwing the ball against the post because he was upset with himself for missing a gimme; only to watch ten minutes later, the Suns kick the ball into the post for being disgusted that the Lakers (i.e., KB) scored – no technical.

    It’s times like these that we need a proactive coaching staff/management to call out the league on such disrespect and double standards toward LO – ala Cuban.

    But back to LO – accept players for what they are and not what yuou want them to be and you’ll be much more content and much less anxious when he bricks a shot, or misses a layup, or steps in bounds while taking it out, etc . . .

  • The Kid

    It’s kinda funny that you say that Lamar’s flaw is his inability to perform under pressure. I think his inability comes more from the fact that he CARES TOO MUCH and wants to do everything so bad, that if he does not get his way in the first few plays of the game, he feels hopeless and basically is taken out of his game.

    I say this because in the games it has mattered most, Lamar has stepped up. The past couple of years’ playoffs anyone? Lamar’s numbers jumped up incredibly and he practically negated and outperformed Marion. He hit jumpshots, made layups, knocked free throws down at a better rate and made PHX defend him. In times like this, when Bynum goes down (before Gasol) I think Lamar feels the only way he can help is by contributing 20/12/8. When he doesn’t get out of the gate right, I think he starts to press and that expectation he puts on himself weighs on him.

    I agree with you and do think it is mental, I just think that he ‘underperforms’ sometimes because he wants to outperform everyone’s expectations.

  • Short Diezel

    I definitely think we should try Odom at the 3 spot, but if it doesn’t work, I think he would be most effective in the 2nd unit when Ariza comes back.

    Starting Line-Up

    Fish
    Kobe
    Ariza
    Gasol
    Bynum

    2nd UNIT

    Farmar
    Sasha
    Radmon
    Odom
    Turiar

  • LakeShowtime

    The guy that we should be trading is Walton, man how much has he sucked this season and last, he has been playing horrible……. My guess once Ariza gets back Walton will be all the way at the end of the bench, PJ has been giving him too much opportunities and the guy still can’t produce, he’s shot is horrible…

  • LakersFirst

    I think LO will be playing the 4 for the rest of the season and Bynum will be backing up Gasol at the center position, UNTIL NEXT SEASON. The reason being is when Bynum comes back he might be off of his game because he’s been out for so long, so they’ll want to ease him into it.

    As for next season, they will move LO to the 3, Gasol to the 4 and Bynum to the 5. Having the twin tower (Gasol/Bynum) will take the Lakers some time to get used to, so they will prepare for this lineup in the offseason and start fresh going into next year.

  • http://www.lakers.com Billy Kupchak

    [Comment ID #27018 Will Be Quoted Here]

    how did you know what my dad was telling me last night over some good late night snacks?

  • 187 ON BOSTON

    [Comment ID #27025 Will Be Quoted Here]

    DADDY DADDY DADDY! SHUP UP

  • Ray Briggs

    Lamar continues to be an inegma. Right now, he is at his best and may well have been the difference maker against Phoenix last night. He may well be the player that determines whether or not the Lakers win the championship this year.

    But Lamar is Lamar–and he doesn’t belong at the 3. Given the firepower of this team, the 3 needs to either be a defensive player or a perimeter shooter or both. Ariza will always be better at defense, and VladRad is the perimeter threat. Walton is a “little things” guy with a long term contract. Do we really need four Lakers at the 3? Even though Odom is statistically the worst three point shooter on the team, he takes his patented Oh! No! Dumb three pointers every game–often at the worst times.

    Lamar creates mismatches at any position that he plays, and he might at times play any position on a matchup basis, but he should rarely if ever be a Laker starter at the 3.

  • thisbedo

    as far as the article goes its completely true his length should compensate for his lack of speed
    as far as Lamar goes i think hes a great player and versatile that hasn’t came close to our expectations but i think the reason why we expect so much from him is because we’ve seen Kobe play with his Killer Instinct and we expect Lamar to go for blood but that isn’t the type of player he is.But i think our team well do great with our bench playing the way it is and Luke has disappointed me this year but i do think he will come through for us.

  • rasarx

    Some might have already forgotten that it was only a few short months ago the Lakers were shopping Kobe around for a trade. That might seem unthinkable now but this team was this close (yes, this close. you mean you can’t see my thumb and index fingers 1/10th of an inch apart?) to being dismantled yet again. The team that came closest to a trade was Chicago. Foolishly, they took some of their players and they put them off-limits, and that turned off the Lakers. They must be feeling pretty stupid now. Kobe himself had strong reservations about being traded to a team that would be too depleted by his own trade and thus would not be a contender.

    Somehow the team wasn’t dismantled. Lo and behold. We’re at the trade deadline. Chicago’s once promising line-up is going nowhere, stuck with a failed Ben Wallace gamble that’s costing them mucho bucks for which he gets them a couple of buckets a game and maybe 10 rebounds. The Lakers, having endured 4 years of a really rough ride, have a far brighter future. Their draft picks have either become key (Bynum, Turiaf, Farmar, Sasha), or been critical in their acquisition of Gasol (Javaris), or might yet blossom (Coby). Luke Walton shined for the first half of last season but has withered since his injury. Maybe too many Tylenols.

    So, one key trade and all changes. LO must be happy because not too many people are calling for his head anymore.

  • LakersPride24

    Good article. The Lakers definitely should keep L.O. He’s so athletic and quick for his size. He’s probably the 2nd best rebounder on the team to Bynum. For whatever reason, he just can’t seem to take it to the next level mentally. But physically, he’s one of the most versatile players in the NBA. So while all of us Lakers fans would like to see him do better, because we all know he’s capable of all star status, he’s a great role player and fits in great with the team. Let’s not forget, he has been around a while in the NBA now. Come playoff time his veteran leadership and rebounding will play a huge role in how far the Lakers go.

  • Kobe 4 Life Nikkas

    f*ck odom i wish butler came for odom

  • keep24

    A special thanks to Kevin Garnett for NOT coming to the Lakers.

    Him not coming here, helped us keep Bynum, Odomb and as a result get Gasol – who is younger, taller and just the kind of player that would play best along with Kobe.

    Also, a special shout out to the Great One, KB24 for lighting a fire under all of their a$$es !

    See you in June !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • rasarx

    Interesting quote from Shaq after the game: “I need to prove something to myself; this is the final chapter of my book,” O’Neal said. “I only have 730 days left, two years and change, and when I sit down and look at my book, I want to have five or six championships under my belt. If I have four, I’ll be a bitter old man. I told them don’t build the offense around me. I’m 36 years old [in March], Amaré [Stoudemire] is 25 — he’s going to be the first option and I just have to accept this role and dominate this role.”

    Well Shaq, if you wanted a couple more rings there was only one way: To ask to be signed by the Lakers for the league minium salary so you can play back-up to Mbenga. That will free up Mbenga to concentrate on his real strength, snoring, instead of sucking so bad. I’m sure you won’t mind being scoring option number 14 on the team, behind Coby Karl’s grandma and Sasha’s tricycle.

  • DCLAKER

    Much respect to Shaq but he should’ve stayed in Miami,yes Phoenix is the better team,I just feel just because you had one losing season and got knocked out of the playoffs,in the 1st round(’07)doesn’t mean you go runnin’ to another team for a chance at glory again. I’m not hatin’ on Shaq but it’s funny when Kobe wanted to traded(when he really didn’t and knew he wouldn’t)everyone hated on him,damn near crucified him,didn’t see that for Shaq,now that’s funny.

  • http://www.hoospworld.com Eric Pincus

    David – are you my cousin? – Just checking – EP

  • ab4sure

    Well i am going against the majority here and saying LO at the 3 is not the best thing for the lakers. Sure now without Bynum he looks good but he is playing the 4 now not the three. Against other three’s like PP, Melo, J. Howard, etc.. LO lacks both in quickness, shooting, defense, and being tough mentally. Being long like LO is doesn’t make you a good defender. Let me make it clear that I appreciate LO’s numbers but long term he won’t be here. I would never just ship his ass out for nothing though. We should get a more traditional 3 now that we have a long term four in Gasol. He shines at the four becuase there are few fours that are quicker than him… Remember Amare had his way just yesterday. Hopefully the lakers can hide the weaknesses in LO toward a title this yr, but make no mistake just like LO was on the block this past summer he will be on the block this summer.

    keep24… Mr. 24 should be thankful that the lakers FO, coaches, and players kept the fire lit in kobe when Kobe was about to bail the ship and doubted the laker players and FO. So congrats to Mitch and Dr. Jerry Buss for keeping the fire going and who never doubted that they were building a Championship team unlike some here on lakernation who are still trying to rewrite history.

  • wilzuvsteel

    Odom is working now but when Gasol and Kobe need to take a break Odom is the same inconsistent scorer and has defensive lapses. As talented as he is and as long as he is he doesn’t really utilize it offensively. He constantly gets his shot blocked and misses layups which is mental. I’d rather see AK47 as he has proven to be a winner leading his Russian team to gold and has expressed his dislike for Utah. He’s been selected to the All defensive team numerous times and has a reliable shot and rebounds just as well as Odom. But if we can’t get a similar player for Odom he should be resigned for a lesser contract to keep the young talent happy. I rather see Luke go than Odom.

  • thisbedo

    I do think he will be on the trading block again this summer but i really dont think the oods of getting a good 3 in return aren’t high and we all know he wants to remain a laker so its up to lamar to take a pay cut and stay with the lakers.so were stuck with him

    but lets not complain jst yet lets see how the season ends first

  • True Lakers Fan

    good article LO is a 3rd option Master

  • http://myspace.com/lakersdynasty999 Steve Avery

    kyle?

  • Luis

    yall crazy, sure he might not be a good defender but people have trouble guarding him, Paul Pierce aint Big on D and neither is Lebron or anyone on the Pistons that won’t guard Kobe, Lamar causes lots of mismatches as well

  • http://swishtheball.net KOPAU BYDOM

    lets get artest as a free agent over the summer

    2008-09 lakers

    first unit

    fish
    kobe
    artest
    pau
    bynum

    second unit

    farmar
    sasha
    ariza
    lamar
    ronny

    reserves
    mbenga
    (trade luke vlad coby and mihm for another good player)

  • T-Dub

    I dont get it….i was more critical than anyone about the Lakers and Odom before the trade. But with the way they are playing, including Odom, why is this even a discusion? The Lakers are looking invinceable, even more so when Bynum gets back. We are set! There is not better 2 thru 5( Kobe, Odom, Pau, Bynum) in the league…now that piece of SH__it Walton…thats another story. I cringe when he enters the game. What a retard! They cant give his a$$ away with 5yrs left(what was Mitch smoking?)…they should buy him out!

  • http://swishtheball.net KOPAU BYDOM

    Lamar is the only player in the last 12 years who can play all 5 positions

    Lamar can play point Guard because he is a good distributer and great at no look and other flashy passes, the other thing is he can handle the ball without quick guards stealing the ball

    Lamar can play the shooting gaurd because he can shoot, but if he did, then out of 50 shots he should take roughly 30 18 footers, 12 college 3s and 8 3s

    he can also play the 3 well because he can drive the lane split the double team, and if he can’t split the double team he can pass to bynum or pau. he is also quick and is consistent when he guards small forwards such as lebron, carmelo, t-mac, magette, pierce, jefferson, etc. he is hard to score on at the small forward

    his rebounding is the main reason why he does best at the 4, but he is great in the post getting an easy 12 foot shot and making it

    he can play the 5 spot because besides andrew, ronny, and maybe pau he plays offense with the most length and on defense he can play with length and rebound as well

    KEEP LAMAR AND SIGN ARTEST AS A FREE AGENT

    ARTEST 3

    lAMAR 3/4

  • Odom the worst player

    I wish odom would play some defense instead of just holding his arms in the air. I wish he would at least try and block a shot or two.

  • DCLAKER

    Let’s just hope The FO has some money to LO to come back,he did say he wanted to retire a Laker and win some ‘SHIPS before that happens. Turiaf,AB and Sasha should get some of that loot as well but I don’t know if everyone can benefit. AB/LO/PG are LAKEZILLA(When Bynum gets back,of course). IT’SALLABOUTTHERINGS.com,OH!IT’S REAL,IT’S DAMN REAL!!!

  • rasarx

    In one big way, the best year to win the championship is this year. Why? Because of LO. As long as he is low in the scoring options he’s going to show his best. But this relatively happy picture is not going to last. Why? Consider the contracts and the salaries.

    First, the biggies: Kobe, Gasol, Lamar (all in the 14-20 million range each), and to a lesser extent Walton, Radman, and Fisher (4-6 mil/year range). They all have multi-year contracts and they all keep going up. So, whatever it is today, next year it’s going to be more, so on.

    Then there are the young guns who are signed for practically nothing: Bynum, Turiaf, Farmar and Sasha. Well, it’s not going to stay that way. It’s laughable what they’re getting paid today, and scary that Turiaf’s sub-million contract runs out this year. The smart move would be to sign them all to multi-year contracts soon, because you wouldn’t have to pay as much now as if you did if you waited to resign them when their contracts run out. But that’s where the difficulty is.

    I’d be surprised if the FO would be willing to pay all those players what they deserve and keep Odom at his current salary unless they can dump Walton and Radman’s contracts, using the savings to sign the four young guns. Maybe they can trade them for draft choices and keep the crop of youngins coming in because they did quite well in the draft considering they didn’t have high draft choices.

  • Fantastic5LAL

    I think we should have Odom come off the bench when Bynum is back (and if he looks as good as the beginning of the saeason)

    Starting Lineup
    Bynum
    Gasol
    Radman
    Kobe
    Fisher

    Odom and maybe Farmar gets subbed in somewhere at the end of the first

    Gasol
    Odom
    Radman
    Kobe
    Farmar

    Start of the 2nd Qtr, Radman sits

    Gasol
    Turiaf
    Odom
    Vujacic
    Farmar

    2nd Qtr 7 or 6 minute mark

    Bynum
    Turiaf
    Ariza
    Vujacic
    Farmar

    2nd qtr 4 min mark

    Bynum
    Gasol
    Odom
    Kobe
    Fisher/Vujacic/Farmar

    3rd Qtr (Odom starts 2nd half)

    Gasol
    Odom
    Radman
    Kobe
    Fisher

    They play almost whole 3rd qtr

    4th Qtr start
    Bynum
    Turiaf
    Ariza/Walton
    Vujacic
    Farmar

    4th Qtr closing Lineup
    Bynum
    Gasol
    Odom
    Kobe
    Fish/Vujacic

    or

    Gasol
    Odom
    Kobe
    Vujacic
    Fisher

  • lakersince80

    I think that “OUR” Odom will do great things not only this season but for many more to come. When people hear Lamar they hear depth, this is a quality that not many people have in the NBA. Lamar will do great in the SF position just sit back and enjoy the ride.

    LAKERS 08 CHAMPS!!!!!

  • drake hunter

    Lamar is playing his best basketball as a Laker. I wish he would just watch Gasol and Bynum when they’re close to the rim. They slam dunk the ball instead of trying to lay it in. Lamar’s three missed lay-ups last night were easily dunks. When your that lengthy and long and can beat people off the dribble, throw it down the hole when you get to the basket instead of trying to lay it in and you won’t miss so many lay-ups so that way you don’t get mad a do a bone head move like throwing the ball at the post and getting a technical. Lamar’s gonna rack up so many assists to Bynum with lob passes when he comes back. I can’t wait!

  • Alvin

    Good article, but Lamar is a nature 3. His insane length will give him the advantage even defensively against smaller players (think about what Tayshaun did to Kobe, well used to before Kobe became insanely good). I think he’ll only really have trouble against Lebron. Otherwise, Lamar will be a really good small forward. Plus we can mix it up, play Lamar at 4 (to guard athletic 4s like Amare) or 5 if we want to run. Phil Jackson has 9 rings, he knows what he’s doing.

  • pjt

    Now that we have all the bullets for the gun…watch how each and every role player blooms and grows…it’s already happening…Lamar..is a top role player…trust me on that…This is what the all Lakers fans must comprehend…Lamar is a great role player, not a 2nd option…plain and simple.

  • DCLAKER

    Rasarx,I really hope they can sign at least AB(definitely),Turiaf(Hell yeah) and Luke,well,let’s try to get Maggette for him or get Caron Back,somebody,anybody,PLEASE TAKE HIM,PLUS WE LIKE SASHA BETTER! Good looking out again,RASARX.

  • Parich

    Yeah, as much of matchup problems that Odom might have guarding the other SFs, it is the Lakers who will cause matchup problems.
    -Kobe is always a mismatch
    -Combo of Bynum and Gasol will be tough to handle inside.
    -That leaves a smaller SF to guard Odom which means easier layups and shots for him.
    -The “DREAM” starting 5 of Bynum/Gasol/LO/Kobe/Fisher will have 4, yes, 4 guys that can post up at any time the want!!!!!!!!!!!

    But even for all the upsides to the dream lineup, there is still a concern. Since LO is not a sharpshooter, and the 2 big men will crowd inside even though Gasol can shoot from midrange. Traditionally a team’s starting 5 should have 3 perimeter players and 2 post players, which is an opposite situation for the Lakers. They will end up having 2 perimeter but 3 inside players. The problem is, teams don’t have to stretch out to LO, and Gasol’s 16 footer isn’t far enough to help stretch the defense, Bynum will always be inside.

    To those unreasonable fans the say other people are idiots for thinking that LO will not work at the 3, you are idiots.