Lamar Odom’s fall from Sixth Man of the Year and NBA title holder to guy the Dallas Mavericks told to just go away and don’t come near the rest of the players was fast and public.
Odom invited it all in when he married a Kardashian and became a reality television star, but when he was just not mentally ready for the season he became public enemy No. 1 in Dallas. (Well, No. 2, No. 1 is always Tony Romo.) He became the scapegoat for a disappointing season in Dallas following their title run, lockout and roster makeover.
Then ESPN’s Ric Bucher tweeted this (hat tip Ball Don’t Lie):
Cuban declined to comment at Mavs camp, which is the smart move. Take the high road here.
I’m a fan of his, but Odom was woeful as a member of the Mavs. He is a guy who struggles to compartmentalize life on and off the court. That summer before he was in New York for the funeral of a cousin when a car he was in (not driving) struck and killed a 15-year-old. The lockout came and he wasn’t motivated. He showed up to training camp out of shape and disinterested, and things spiraled down from there. Mavs fans have a reason to be frustrated, Odom has always been talented and enigmatic, but this was as bad as he has been.
Now he is a Clipper (although reports are he didn’t exactly show up to camp in peak shape) and I expect him to have a better season. He is back in his comfort zone, and you can bet Chris Paul and Blake Griffin will push him. Hard.
As for Odom and Dallas, it’s really best if both sides moved on and tried to forget about it. No reason to dwell on the past.
Dwyane Wade has earned his status as an elder statesman, the E.F. Hutton kind of veteran who speaks and everybody listens.
Rookie Justise Winslow is listening.
Winslow (who should have gone higher in this draft) is a perfect fit for the Heat and he’s going to be part of their rotation off the bench from the start of the season (along with Josh McRoberts and Amare Stoudemire). Wade has already fully stepped into the mentor role with Winslow working with him on post moves, reports Jason Lieser at the Palm Beach Post.
“As his career develops, hopefully he’s able to do multiple things on the floor, but right now there’s gonna be certain things (Erik Spoelstra) wants him to do, and some of those things I’m good at,” Wade said. “I’m just passing down knowledge to someone who I think could be good at things that I have strengths at. It’s gonna take a while, but if he figures it out at 21, he’s ahead of the curve. I figured it out at like 27.
“All of us are where we’re at because someone before us helped us. They helped by letting us sit there and watch film with them or having conversations with them. If he’s a student of it and he really wants to know, I’m a pretty decent teacher in certain areas.”
This is what you want out of a veteran leader and some of the young teams out there have done an excellent job adding this kind of mentor — Kevin Garnett in Minnesota may be the best example. Someone who can pass on his wisdom and show the team’s young players how to be a professional and win in the NBA.
It’s a little different for Winslow, he and the Heat are more in a win-now mode, but he should be able to contribute to that.
Bill Bridges, a star as a Kansas Jayhawk who went on to have a 12-year NBA career that included being part of the 1975 Golden State Warriors championship team, has passed away, according to the University of Kansas.
Bridges was an undersized power forward at 6’6″ but he was a beast on the boards who averaged 11.9 rebounds a game for his career and more than 13 a game for six straight years at the peak of his career. That 11.9 per game average is still 27th all-time in NBA history.
A New Mexico native, Bridges was a three-time All-Star (all as a member of the Hawks), two-time All-NBA Defensive team, and was part of the 1975 Warriors title team. Besides the Hawks (St. Louis and Atlanta) and Warriors, Bridges played for the Sixers and Lakers.
Our thoughts are with his family and friends.