Lamar Odom was the established veteran star on Team USA this summer when they won gold. Even moreso than Chauncey Billups who gave up time for all the youngster guards on the squad and Kevin Durant, still learning his way around. Odom played minutes at just about every position, and considerable time at center for the undermanned Team USA down low. And though he did have his fair share of Lamar Odom moments, he played better as the tournament wore on, and was a big reason the US brought home the gold.
Now he’s come out and told the Los Angeles Daily News that he hopes to represent the US again in 2012 for the Olympics in London. Most of the so-called superstars like LeBron James and Dwyane Wade have said they plan to return to Team USA for the 2012 games, meaning getting a spot for Odom might be more difficult. But Odom has an advantage over some of the other lower-rung players. Championship experience. He’s been a part of two championship teams (and will probably have been a part of more by the 2012 Summer Games), and a Gold Medal squad. Coaches consider that kind of experience invaluable. Wrap it in with his overall talent, and Odom could very well be in play.
The question will be how the team formulates and how many power forwards are available for the team then. Small forward, Odom’s natural position, will be well-stocked with James and Kevin Durant. And while center will likely be taken care of by Dwight Howard and Amar’e Stoudemire (if he’s able to play with his insurance situation), power forward may be a spot where Odom can find time. And with his range and versatility, in the international game, it’s a perfect fit.
Besides all that, while the other guys were off cruising in their new cities or resting on their laurels, Odom was fighting for gold. That’s got to count for something, right?
In his first game in New Orleans, coach Alvin Gentry threw forward Omri Casspi right into the rotation, and he scored a dozen points.
Casspi also broke his thumb and will be out 4-6 weeks.
Because there is so little time in the season and the Pelicans want to make the playoffs, they have decided to waive Casspi, reports Sams Charania of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports.
The idea is to create a roster spot to either grab someone waived by another team over the next few days or to get players on 10-day contracts.
Casspi will be a free agent this summer, and there are a number of teams that think he has real potential once unleashed outside what was going on in Sacramento.
ATLANTA (AP) — The Atlanta Hawks have signed forward Ryan Kelly and guard Lamar Patterson to multiyear contracts.
Patterson provides depth across the perimeter, including at point guard. He previously signed two 10-day contracts with the team, most recently on Feb. 8. He has averaged 2.3 points in four games.
The 6-foot-11 Kelly has played in nine games with the Hawks after signing Oct. 31.
The Hawks now have their maximum 15 players. They traded forward Mike Scott to the Suns on Thursday, leaving two vacant roster spots.
Kelly and Patterson are expected to be available when the Hawks play Miami on Friday night.
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Golden State Warriors center JaVale McGee fired back at Shaquille O’Neal via Twitter after the former star-turned analyst posted on his verified account a disparaging photo of McGee with the words, “America meet Javale “BUM” McGee.”
O’Neal also responded angrily to McGee , saying he would “smack” McGee’s “bum a–.”
Warriors coach Steve Kerr and Kevin Durant backed McGee on Friday, with Durant calling Shaq “childish” while calling out the retired center’s free throw shooting and other flaws in his game during a Hall of Fame NBA career.
Shaq and McGee went back and forth in a heated Twitter spat late Thursday night, when McGee returned to a reserve role for the NBA-best Warriors as starting center Zaza Pachulia returned from an eight-game absence because of a shoulder injury.
For a couple of seasons now, teams have tried to beat the Golden State Warriors by making the game ugly — slow, grinding, physical, and the opposite of the free-wheeling game they like. Only one team has had any real success with that strategy, and it has LeBron James on it (and even that wouldn’t have been enough if Draymond Green could keep his hands to himself).
So why not beat them at their own game?
That’s what Rockets’ GM Daryl Morey thought when he added Lou Williams to the roster, he said.
There is a sense around the Warriors that the Rockets may be a bigger concern than the Spurs, because Houston can score with them. Don’t confuse that with worry in the Bay Area, they are the best team in the West if healthy, but the Rockets may be the team they face off against in the conference finals.
And if that happens, Lou Williams is going to play a significant role.