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Maverick Odom changes colors


PhilBoxing.com




LOS ANGELES -- He's 6-foot-10 long and 230 pounds large. He can shoot, pass, rebound, play respectable defense, and light the hardcourt with his winning, infectious smile.

There sure is a lot to like about Lamar Odom.

His career averages --- 10.8 points, 6.8 rebounds, 3.5 blocks and 1.0 rebound per game -- won't take him straight to the Hall of Fame. But Odom's all-around skills help wins championships, like he did in 2009 and 2010 while playing alongside Kobe Bryant and the fabulous Los Angeles Lakers.

Unfortunately for diehard Lakers fans, Odom has left the Staples Center. He is taking his talents to Dallas, where he eventually landed early this week following a botched Chris Paul trade that would have packaged Odom to New Orleans.

Odom didn't necessarily like leaving L.A. At age 32, with thousands of miles on his hoops-weary knees, Odom, like most veterans, prefer continuity as opposed to change.

But Dallas and the defending champion Mavericks are ecstatic to have last year's NBA sixth man of the year awardee in their roster.

"Just watching him over the years, I'm a big fan of his game because he's an all-around player," said NBA Finals MVP Dirk Nowitzki. "He can bring the ball up, he can shoot, he can post. He's a great decision-maker with the ball and one of the best passing big men in the league today. So, we should be able to have fun with each other."

Odom's arrival comes at a critical time when the Mavericks defend their title without center Tyson Chandler, who was lured by the the New York Knicks with a four-year deal worth $58 million.

Ever the consummate pro, Odom has quickly accepted his fate. "I have a lot of pride being on this team and playing with the defending champions to try and help them defend their title."

Considering that his paycheck was a reasonable $8.9 million a year, it is quite puzzling why the Lakers would dispose an asset as valuable as Lamar Odom. Maybe the next few days, or trades, will provide answers.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Nicholai R. Roska.


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