Monday, June 8th, 2009 at 10:40 am  |  13 responses

SLAM #37

It’s Winnin’ Time

Originally published in SLAM 37

The 6th Man: Over the past several years, we’ve been guilty of playing both sides of the fence, with regard to athletes and education. If my memory serves me correctly, we’ve run articles imploring athletes to stay in school and get their degrees in back-to-back issues with ones demanding that they take the money and run.

Our reactions to this complicated issue are forgivable and, hopefully, understandable: after all, we’ve always treated each player on a case-by-case basis. And that’s why—and I’m obviously anticipating some outside criticism here—we’re running an article championing Eugene Edgerson’s decision to redshirt from an Arizona club on which he’d be a focal point, while in the same issue lionizing rookie Lamar Odom, a player who many observers think would be better served by a few dozen more college credits (and an unlisted phone number), for looking to strut his stuff in the NBA, like, the day after tomorrow.

And Lamar should, you know. His game is already to the point where the only way he’d get better in college is if they played with a 24-second clock and man-to-man defenses. Let’s face it: when you’re the fourth pick in the NBA draft—and I guarantee you that the level-headed Mr. Edgerson would agree wholeheartedly—there’s plenty of time for college after the millions have stopped pouring in.

For Lamar Odom, who has been compared by lesser idiots than us to Earvin “Buck” Johnson, the money train shouldn’t stop for the next dozen-or-so years. A 6-10 point forward who can handle the rock and understands the concept of team basketball? Please. The only question is, with apologies to the still grief-stricken Steve Francis, what in the hell the Vancouver Grizzlies were thinking when they looked beyond Odom’s impressive wingspan and knowledge of the game. Now, none of us in the media know Lamar all that well—he seems like a pretty private guy, and rightly so: he’s been burned more times Evel Knievel’s kid. But here’s just one person’s opinion that says a) I’m glad he turned pro and b) God help the Western Conference.

That’s it, I’m out.


Tony Gervino

Issue 37 Odom

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  • Ken

    He had so much potential…I remember that team with him, Q, and DMiles. Feel bad for the Clippers…

  • http://slamonline.com Ben Osborne

    I know this much: it was a pleasure to write that story. He obviously hasn’t been as good as I/we expected, but he’s carved out a nice career and was a/the key last night…I still root for him.

  • http://www.wow.com nate the great

    hmmm i dont like him that much, his shoots go in, so thats all that matters.

  • whooo!

    biggest underachiever ever… this guy’s got out of this world talent combined with all the physical gifts, but he had to be the 3rd/4th option player to do something productive. oh well, at least he’s done more than tim thomas.

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  • http://twitter.com/Lexxus Lexxus #4

    Whoa! The Lamar cover!! I was so excited back then and snail-mailed SLAM ’bout it – got published in Trash Talk too!! and don’t tell me 10 years passed? time flies.. skills remain

  • http://thedimemachine.multiply.com thedimemachine

    He’s still The Goods.

  • PArsons

    Does anyone remember when Larry Brown said ‘Tim Thomas is the most important 76er even above Allen Iverson!’. Ahhhh the days when crack was king…


    Sad…. Lamar Odom that is he is to off/on at least he’s consistent @ that but sad is all I can think of maybe terrible but definitely sad

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  • seven deuce

    “sigh”, the old days…

  • Alex A

    my favorite player in the nba

  • http://Myspace Shanoooooo

    Why even post if yall gonna hate on they guy. He hasn’t done anything the last couple of years but win two rings and a gold medal. Aye, post this cover feature…