So the Lakers came out here Tuesday and, after one game, their fans were ready to kill the Princeton offense and do something even more permanent to Coach Mike Brown. Then Wednesday it was the Clippers' turn at Staples Center, another team starting a journey that will answer some serious questions about the ability to jell, focus and rise as one. And they have issues beyond Lamar Odom, too. Yes, he's back, formerly a Clipper, formerly a Laker and once again the most exasperating riddle in the NBA. Can Odom, over these 82 games, solve himself? Playing on a team with only 10 healthy bodies, Odom was the last Clipper off the bench in their 101-92 victory over Memphis. He entered at the start of the second quarter, immediately made a block, retained possession and charged coast-to-coast, finishing by splashing an errant Spalding into the ocean. Odom's next touch resulted in another comically terrible pass. He looked heavy, a half-step slow and generally winded, mostly because Odom is all of those things at the moment. He did, however, survive and even manage to help his team's cause, something he hadn't done in a long time. See, most recently, Odom was a Dallas Maverick. Just not for very long. Last year, Odom, wholly disinterested and disengaged, went from being the NBA's Sixth Man of the Year to being Dallas' First Man Overboard. Mavs owner Mark Cuban became so disgusted that he told Odom to just go away despite there being a month of season left. He finished with per-game career lows in points (6.6), rebounds (4.2) and minutes (20.5). Odom was so bad even he acknowledged his Jekyll-and-Hyde act this week, labeling the bad version "Dallas Lamar." Odom, initially shaken by trade rumors, never recovered from the heartbreak of being dealt by the Lakers, even though he — just so everyone understands what's involved in handling this guy — asked the team to trade him.
Clippers' Odom holds key to his success
Orange County Register | Nov 1