I have never been a celebrity gossip fanatic, to say the least. Just about every story is the same generic piece, right?
(Celebrity A) was seen at (Semi-Normal Place) with (Celebrity B) doing (Semi-Normal Activity).
I can hardly contain my excitement. Maybe it’s because I have always associated gossip enthusiasts with bubbly teeny-boppers bouncing around the mall making absurd comments like, “Oh. My. God. Did you see Taylor Swift drinking her Mocha with whole milk? She’s sooo gonna’ die soon!”
Thankfully, my celeb-gossip connoisseur girlfriend has the inside scoop on the daily adventures of Hollywood’s elite. Every once in a while, she will drop me a story that doesn’t leave me feeling like J.R. Smith after an English exam. This morning, she read me a piece of an interview from US Weekly (I’m told that’s a magazine) where the following exchange with Lamar Odom happened:
US Weekly: What’s next for you – more hoops?
Lamar: I want to retire. Hopefully this line (Rich Soil) will blast off.
And that appropriately brings us to our first mailbag question…
My wife makes me watch “Keeping up with the Kardashians” – and no I don’t want to talk about it. When I first saw Odom on the show, I realized that there’s a whole camp of people who know him as Mr. Khloe Kardashian… and why shouldn’t they? It’s not like his head is in the game half the time he’s on the court. I’m starting to think that maybe he’s a better reality show star than NBA player. Am I alone on this one?
I shamefully confess that I have seen a few recent episodes of ‘KUWTK’ – and I also don’t want to talk about it. Lamar has always been an enigma – he has every physical gifting and the natural ability necessary to be a perennial All-Star. He may be one of the few players in NBA history to hurdle from underrated to overrated – only to make the same transition all over again. Love him or hate him, he will make you love him and hate him, probably in the span of just a few games – and that’s about all you can consistently count on from L.O.
Earlier this season, he went through a fifteen game streak where he scored in double figures just once, and grabbed 10+ rebounds only three times. On Sunday afternoon, he looked like a completely different player – and in a game where Kobe was firing blanks, he was certainly the difference (along with Ron’s defense on Melo).
Lamar Odom isn’t dumb, he doesn’t have a low basketball IQ and he certainly understands what it takes to be successful in the NBA… in my opinion, L.O.’s inconsistency can be summed up in one sentence:
Lamar Odom likes to play basketball… he doesn’t love to play basketball.
I am convinced that Odom would be perfectly content pushing his clothing line (which he shamelessly has been) and enjoying the PR spotlight of being married to a Kardashian – and I am fully aware that I may wake up to an inbox full of hate mail tomorrow for that comment (it wouldn’t be the first time). I love what he variably brings to this Lakers’ team; I only wish he brought the same focus and effort every night.
To answer your question: Is he a better reality TV star than an NBA player? No… well, not yet at least.
There’s five seconds left in the game. You’re down one with the ball after a timeout. Kobe Bryant isn’t an option – what current NBA player do you draw that final play for?
Lebron James would be the popular answer; but I give the ball to Dwyane Wade (assuming he’s 100% healthy). Let me give you one undeniable reason why:
(1) Games 3-6 of the ’06 NBA Finals.
Game 3: 42/13/2/2.
Game 4: 36/6/3/1.
Game 5: 43/4/4/3.
Game 6: 36/10/5/4.
The greatest performance in NBA Finals history? I say yes. How did Lebron fare on the NBA’s grandest stage? Well…
Just for the hell of it, here’s my entire last shot top-5:
1. Kobe Bryant
2. Dwyane Wade
3. Lebron James
4. Carmelo Anthony
5. Kevin Durant
(Feel free to disagree with me, of course.)
Is it just me, or is it that the Lakers seem to appear lazy and out of it for half the game? It’s like they finally start playing in the last 3 minutes when they are down. Am I right to assume that they are just tired and getting out hustled now, but hopefully that will change come playoff time?
Ah, yes… the proverbial switch, something the Lakers have toyed with for years. It’s the challenge every battle-tested NBA champion faces during the grinding stages of the regular season. Of the 12 marquee regular season games (Cleveland, Boston, Orlando and Denver), only two (vs. Denver, vs. Orlando) remain. The Lakers are a healthy 5.5 games out in front of the western conference and the only real motivating factor remaining during the initial 82 is the race for HCA in the NBA Finals (1.5 GB of Cleveland).
I think we’ll see a more focused and energized Lakers’ team come playoff time; but even so, they will need to rip that switch off the wall if they want to advance past the Denver Nuggets (assuming the Lakers take care of business and Dallas doesn’t squeak into the WCF).
It would seem Derek Fisher is coming to the end of his rope, averaging career lows in several categories. So do the Lakers promote internally and give the job to Jordan Farmar, look to sign a FA, trade for a PG or fill the need through the draft somehow?
John, it’s about time I answered one of your questions, huh? Before we prematurely slam the door on D-Fish’s career, let’s not forget that this very same Bench Fish sentiment was also present around this same time last year… and we all remember how much we adored him after he saved us in the NBA Finals vs. Orlando. Can Derek still hit some big shots for us? Absolutely. Can Derek still be effective as a starter? That’s a completely different story.
The Lakers PG situation is fragile, and we know D-Fish isn’t getting any younger. Jordan Farmar and Shannon Brown are FA’s at the end of this season, and keeping both of them will be relatively unlikely. I personally would like to see us bring back Shannon Brown (better upside at a cheaper price than Jordan) and make him our starting PG. You bring in Fish off the bench behind him, and try to add some PG depth through the draft. I would love to see the Lakers try to steal Sherron Collins – He’s a champion, works hard, plays in an NBA-type system under Bill Self, knocks down the 3 and performs well in the clutch. It’s early still, but I think he’s going to be the Ty Lawson of the upcoming draft.
Or, we could always scratch everything I just said and re-visit the Devon Harris trade rumors…
You predicted earlier this year that Kobe Bryant would win his second MVP. Any chance of that still happening?
Unfortunately, slim to none. When you look at the MVP award, there are three major factors you have to consider:
Best Player on Best Team:
Cleveland (47-14) has a game and a half advantage over the Lakers (45-15); plus the Cavs swept the season series in rather dominating fashion. This gives Lebron the advantage in this argument.
By the Numbers:
Kobe: 27/5/5 on 46% Shooting
Lebron: 30/8/7 on 50% Shooting.
Even with Kobe’s five game-winning shots (and counting), Lebron is having one of the best statistical seasons we have ever seen. Lebron still has a slight edge in this argument.
Quality of Supporting Cast:
Which supporting cast would you rather have?
Cleveland: Mo/Jamison/Shaq/Hickson/Big Z
Los Angeles: Gasol/Bynum/Artest/Fisher/Odom
If these two teams played ten head to head games without their two superstars (Bryant, James), I say the Lakers win 70% of the time, giving Lebron a clean sweep in the regular season MVP argument.
However, when it comes to the MVP that really matters, I like Kobe Bryant’s chances.
In a landslide.