SLAMOnline: Limitless potential. Lackluster performance. Ridiculous skill set. Chronic underachiever.There have been a lot of words tagged to Lamar Odom’s game, not many of them positive. When a player is as talented as Odom with as much promise coming out of high school in New York, all eyes are on them and the pressure is there not to fail. Disappoint. Screw up. Lose their way.
When you lose your mother at 12 and are being raised by your grandmother and want to make her proud, you’d think it would be easy to block out distractions and focus on the end goal. Sometimes, it is just the opposite that happens. Sometimes, is what happened for Lamar.
With the distinction of being named High School Player of the Year by Parade Magazine, the stage was set for him to go to UNLV. Only, that didn’t quite work out for him. The thing is, guidance doesn’t always come when needed and lessons are not usually learned the easiest way when it comes to Lamar. After ending up at Rhode Island and piecing together a great year, the Clippers drafted Odom, where he was hailed as the next Magic by a certain basketball magazine. When he ended-up being suspended twice for violating the NBA’s substance abuse policy, it appeared as though he’d need wizardry to help him achieve his potential.
The thing is, regardless of his struggles, his talent is so undeniable he does deserve a spot on a list such as this. A 6′10″ southpaw who can run the point with his court vision and game savvy will always find a way. Having the ability to put in back-to-back triple-doubles along with his unique make up also allows him extra chances – chances started making the most of as he has learned nothing lasts forever.