Monday , Jan , 07 , 2008 Oly Sandor

Will Lamar Odom Fulfill His Promise With L.A. Lakers?

In October, I appeared on a Montreal sports radio show to preview the 2007-08 NBA season. Matthew Ross, the host of Game Points, asked me to a name a player under pressure to produce. I picked Odom. The southpaw hasn’t been a bust, but he’s never fulfilled his promise, either. Not even close …

Will Lamar Odom Fulfill His Promise With L.A. Lakers?

The AM Take: In October, I appeared on a Montreal sports radio show to preview the 2007-08 NBA season. Matthew Ross, the host of Game Points, asked me to a name a player under pressure to produce.

I picked Odom. The southpaw hasn’t been a bust, but he’s never fulfilled his promise, either. Not even close.

I remember his year in Miami. The Heat got off to a terrible start in 2003-04. Things appeared hopeless, so Coach Riley retired/quit (sounds familiar, perhaps if we’re lucky history will repeat itself in 2008). Odom, along with a young Dwyane Wade, somehow got South Beach into the second round of the playoffs.

The southpaw was brilliant. He did everything for Miami: score, pass, rebound, and defend. Of course, his stay in Florida was short-lived; Odom was dealt after one season to the Lakers as part of the Shaquille O’Neal blockbuster.

 Odom has been steady as a Laker. But steady doesn’t cut it, especially when he possesses the skills to dominate. His coach, Phil Jackson, recently expressed concern about his mental approach:

"He plays with a certain air of freedom. There are times when he can’t let things go, when things don’t happen right for him," Jackson said. "Those are times when I’d like for him to relax and let it go. For the most part, I like his attitude on the floor."   (Los Angeles Times)

I don’t think Odom’s mindset is a problem. If the talented swing can raise his game, he’ll also raise L.A. from western power to legit contender. Now that’s pressure.

Will Odom live up to expectations? Get at us in the comment box below with your thoughts or hit us up in our fan forum.

The AM Take is Oly’s morning thoughts on the NBA. All errors can be attributed to the time and his need for another cup of coffee. Click here to get his AM Take each morning and subscribe to his blog.