The Odom-eter Reading ‘Compliments’
Lamar Odom is flattered by teams stacking up.
Now that the circus of the trade deadline has passed, there‘s one thing we’ve learned — the Boston Celtics are seriously stacking up. The Celtics shocked the world by trading Kendrick Perkins and Nate Robinson to the Oklahoma City Thunder for Jeff Green and Nenad Kristic right before the trade deadline. It’s surprising that the Cs would trade away their best low-post defender, however, it seems that there was a dire need to get younger, and more explosive in the frontcourt to contend with the other elite teams in the League.
“It’s a compliment to us,” Odom tells SLAMonline. “Teams are stacking up to contend with us and it’s all fine with me.”
This maybe the case as players are sliding over to the Eastern Conference and creating a shift in balance. The big cities are becoming top-heavy with talent, leaving the rest of the markets to compete with C-grade talent, which has so many people believing contraction could be a realistic option.
Players aren’t the only ones to blame for this movement. The way the current CBA stands, cities such as Cleveland, Denver and Utah are not able to retain their star players as we’ve witnessed. A franchise tag appears to be a solid suggestion, as it allows management the right to retain their centerpiece while looking for other avenues of improving its team through the Draft, trades or free agents without going over the salary cap.
If the Anthony and Williams trades went down before the All-Star break, Odom would have had a serious shot as an All-Star reserve. The Lakers are the back-to-back NBA champions but Boston and Miami were the only teams to represent three or more of its players in the All-Star game.
“When I was in my younger days, I used to look at my stats and compare it to other guys,” said Odom. “I can’t do that anymore. I’m trying to win and a play at a high level.”
Playing at a high level was an afterthought for the Lakers who entered the break with a three-game loosing streak, capped off with a defeat at the hands of the Cleveland Cavaliers. Given that, the Lakers are currently riding a two-game winning streak — coming off of a win against the Atlanta Hawks at home followed by an overtime victory on the road against the Portland Trail Blazers. It sure appears like the Lakers are well on their way to a huge second half push.
“The season is long,” said Odom. “After you win a title, people aim at you and you got to take their best shot. It’s really all about how you recover after a loss, how you play in the big games, and how you finish.”
Finishing shouldn’t be an issue since they have one of the best finishers in Kobe Bryant. The Lakers are accustomed to turning it on and off whenever they feel it’s time to play ball. Carelessly going through the motions against weaker opponents can’t fare well for a team that wants to finish off a three-peat.
Odom is adamant that the season is merely a platform to go through trials and tribulations in order to come together when it really matters the most: The Playoffs.
“If we lose in the last round then we’ll be saying we should of handled Cleveland,” said Odom. “If we win in the last round, we’ll be looking back saying look how we fought through. The story is not over, we’re still writing the book.”