Report: Lamar Odom not missing

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Lamar Odom’s drug abuse was recently reported by TMZ, and the news organization followed that with a report that Odom is missing. If true, an ugly situation for Odom is getting only uglier.

But another report contradicts that one. ESPN:

Free-agent forward Lamar Odom is in a Los Angeles hotel, where friends are trying to get him help for an unspecified drug problem, a source told ESPN on Monday.The information comes after Odom’s agent refuted a TMZ report Sunday that his client had been missing for 72 hours after a dispute with his wife, Khloe Kardashian.Agent Jeff Schwartz would not reveal Odom’s whereabouts, telling ESPN.com’s Marc Stein earlier Monday: “Lamar is not missing. His wife knows exactly where he is.”

I haven’t crossed paths with Odom lately, so I can’t personally vouch for his whereabouts. I also don’t know for certain Schwartz can either. He’s paid to present Odom in the best light possible, and acknowledging Odom has disappeared makes Odom look even worse than he did a day ago.Schwartz continues that Odom wants to continue playing in the NBA, so it’s easy to see why the agent would try to stem the tide of recent negative stories.But that won’t be enough.Any team that would even consider signing Odom – and there might not a single one – certainly won’t accept Schwartz at his word. Maybe Schwartz is telling the absolute truth, but at this point, Odom will have to demonstrate a much greater control of his life before getting another NBA job.

Magic’s Aaron Gordon skies to finish amazing alley-oop (VIDEO)

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Aaron Gordon may not have had the best dunk contest this year — apparently drones and dunks don’t mix well — but the guy can still get up and finish with the best in the league.

As he did on this alley-oop against Detroit.

Elfrid Payton had to throw a lob that would get over Andre Drummond, but how many guys in the league can get that high, reach back and finish that? Damn.

Former Hawk Pero Antic’s celebration accidentally punches teammate in face in Eruoleague (VIDEO)

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Former Atlanta Hawk Pero Antic is now playing for Turkish powerhouse Fenerbahce, in case you were not aware.

Fenerbahce was facing Anadolu Efes in a EuroLeague game, it was tight late and former NBA player Ekpe Udoh was at the free throw line for Fenerbahce. He missed his second shot, but the rebound caromed out-of-bounds off an Anadolu Efes player. Antic was pumped.

Maybe a little too pumped.

Ouch.

That was Nikola Kalinic, by the way, the guy Antic now owes dinner to. Kalinic would like the dinner more than the hug and kiss he got from Antic right after the play.

Also, Anadolu Efes held on to win 80-77.

(Hat tip to Ball Don’t Lie.)

James Harden helped recruit Lou Williams to Houston

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The Lakers had been shopping Lou Williams around in the run-up to the trade deadline, the only question was would they get a first-round pick for him. Rumors around the league say that Houston had offered them one weeks before, it was on the table, but the Jim Buss/Mitch Kupchak front office held their cards close and hoped a better deal would come through.

While all that was going on James Harden decided to ease the process and did a little recruiting calling up Williams, the sixth-man guard told Shams Charania of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports.

“When James called, he asked me if I was interested in playing with them,” Williams told The Vertical. “I told him that I loved the Lakers, but James and them have a group that fit my personality, fit how I play. He said he was going to make it happen.”

Williams then laughed, sitting on the edge of a visiting court following a recent practice. “I’ve heard that before, so I didn’t really put stock into it,” Williams told The Vertical. “I guess James did put the word in, and the team made it happen.”

We all know what happened, Jeanie Buss removed her brother and Kupchak a few days before the trade deadline, Magic Johnston stepped in, called around, and quickly pulled the trigger on a trade that sent Williams to Houston (the Lakers also got Corey Brewer). Williams has averaged 14.5 points per game and had some strong performances with the Rockets, although he’s still finding his groove with the team on the court. Still, he’s been an upgrade for the Rockets’ bench.

Harden knew he would be, so he did his part to make sure it happened.

Take a look back at just how great Shaq was with the Lakers (VIDEO)

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Shaquille O’Neal was as dominant a force as the NBA has ever seen.

His peak years came with the Lakers, when paired with Kobe Bryant one the court — and Phil Jackson manipulating both of them — they won three titles (and arguably would have had more if they stayed together). Those Lakers teams were one of the NBA’s great teams.

Friday night, the Lakers unveil Shaq’s statue at Staples Center. Take a look back at some of Shaq’s Lakers highlights.