Lamar Odom Struggling to Adjust to Life in Dallas

by January 12, 2012

Virtually every interview that Lamar Odom has done about his trade from the Lakers to the Mavericks has been incredibly depressing, and the latest one is no different. He talked to SI last night about trying to cope with his new reality in Dallas: “Has it been tough? ‘When you have relationships with people and there are hard times, you know how to deal with one another,’ Odom said. “When you don’t, it’s obvious.’ From a basketball perspective, Odom has yet to find his niche in Dallas. His struggles have made him a frequent target of [Rick] Carlisle, who has harped on Odom’s need to understand the coverages, be more alert, communicate and get in better shape; Odom’s 19.9 minutes per game are the lowest of his career. It’s more than just basketball, however. Team sources say Odom has often appeared stressed by what they believe is the mental burden of an overwhelming offseason. Indeed, Odom told ESPN he considered taking a hiatus from the game. Being out of Los Angeles, away from his longtime teammates and friends, many of whom he has been close with for the last seven years, has not helped. And the sting of being considered expendable by LA — Odom was part of the aborted trade that would have brought Chris Paul to the Lakers — has not worn off. Asked if he had watched any Lakers games, Odom is succinct. ‘I can’t allow myself to,’ Odom said. […] Can Odom find a way to succeed in the Mavericks’ system? ‘It’s hard for me to say,’ Odom said. ‘I thought my game was equipped to play anywhere and everywhere. I’m not prepared, I guess, to play. I don’t know if there is anything more to say.’”