Saturday , Apr , 11 , 2009 C.Y. Ellis

Lamar Odom Claims to Be Fine with Bench Role

Lamar Odom, who is eligible to become an unrestricted free agent July 1, protested mildly for a day or two during training camp in October.

Then he shut up and played without complaint, sparking the Lakers’ second unit until Andrew Bynum suffered a torn medial collateral ligament in his right knee Jan. 31.

Odom returned to a starting spot for 31 games ending Thursday night, but with the 7-foot Bynum back in the starting lineup, Odom has return to his backup role.

"Absolutely," Odom said when asked if he was OK with returning to the bench. "It’s not bad. The second unit struggled a little bit at the end of the year. I would like to take that challenge on again and get them going again. It won’t make a difference."