Lamar Odom was given away for virtually nothing by the Lakers to the defending champion Mavericks before the season even began, after Odom expressed a desire to be dealt once his name surfaced in legitimate trade rumors.
With Odom being the reigning Sixth Man of the Year, this seemed like an absolute steal for Dallas at the time. But it hasn’t materialized, and the team’s head coach seems to be tired of waiting.
Appearing on ESPN Dallas radio Friday, Rick Carlisle (via Tim MacMahon on Twitter) laid out very bluntly his feelings on the Odom situation, which no doubt echo those of Mavericks fans.
“I’m disappointed with the way the whole thing has gone,” Carlisle said. “Patience has worn thin here. He’s going to have to show us with his actions and his attitude if he’s in.”
The interview comes at a time when Odom is set to begin to get back to basketball, after missing the last few games due to personal reasons which were believed to be due to his father suffering with a serious illness. Odom will play a game in the D-League on Saturday as a way to get his wind back, a move that he had to authorize under the league’s new collective bargaining agreement.
Odom is averaging career lows in every relevant statistical category this season, so his absence isn’t exactly hurting Dallas all that much. What is painful, though, is that the organization knows the spark Odom may be able to provide if he can get his head straight.
Between the sensitivity Odom showed in demanding his way out of Los Angeles, along with the lack of production on the court and the time he’s missed because of problems off of it (legitimate or otherwise), it’s doubtful at best that the Mavericks will get anywhere near what they thought was face value when acquiring him.
The good news in Dallas is that they’re still a threat in the West, and easily a top-four team when clicking on all cylinders. A focused Odom might be able to push them into overdrive, which is why Carlisle and the rest of the squad likely haven’t given up on him entirely just yet.