Thursday , Jan , 03 , 2008 C.Y. Ellis

Los Angeles Lakers Display Crack in Armor?

Odom shrugged and said he was surprised about the league- imposed one-game suspension for his open-court tackle of Boston’s Ray Allen on Sunday night. Odom received a flagrant foul with less than three minutes left in the Lakers’ 110-91 loss when be barreled into Allen near the Celtics’ bench.Odom, who will miss the Lakers’ game against Philadelphia on Friday and lose roughly $120,000 in salary, first said he ‘was trying to make a play on the ball’ but gave an admission moments later.’I wasn’t trying to hurt the dude. Of course, I wouldn’t want to lose by 20 at home,’

Odom said. ‘There was a play before that where I thought (James) Posey came up under me. I didn’t try to overreact, but Ray Allen was there. He had the ball; I wanted to foul him. Maybe I fouled him a little too hard.’ Odom said he wouldn’t appeal the suspension.

Coach Phil Jackson said Ronny Turiaf would likely start at power forward in Odom’s place Friday and said Odom’s suspension didn’t particularly shock him. ‘You’re never surprised with the NBA,’ Jackson said. ‘You have to (prepare) for the worst and take whatever comes along. … Lamar did something that was not basketball- related and that’s what happens. He was kind of losing it out there. He was hustling his butt off and everything just wasn’t working for him.’ [Click here for more from the Los Angeles Daily News.]