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Lamar Odom says he used a fake penis to pass 2004 Olympics drug test

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The 2004 Olympics was the low point for USA Basketball.

Lamar Odom, in the summer before he joined the Lakers, was part of that mismatched roster. And he was faded. Baked. High. Lit. Whatever term of art you wish to use for a guy who spends a lot of his time stoned. However, to play in the Olympics, he had to pass a drug test, and that was never going to happen.

So Odom went out and got a fake rubber penis, he writes in his new tell-all memoir “Darkness to Light,”  which People Magazine has run an excerpt of, discussing this moment of Olympics history (hat tip NBC Sports Olympic Talk).

“…The joy of being named to the twelve-man roster quickly turned to anxiety when Olympic officials informed me that I would have to pass a drug test before officially joining the team.”

Not long after, Odom got the call from USA Basketball that the Olympic drug tester was coming to his house in a few days.

“There was absolutely no way I was going to pass. I’d been smoking weed every day that summer. Panic set in…

“We started googling ‘fake penises’ and studied different ways to beat a drug test. After an exhaustive search we ordered a giant, rubber, black c*** to arrive the next day.”

Odom then recruited his trainer, who did not do drugs,  “to urinate into the reservoir of the phallus, which was hidden in the balls.” Then Odom strapped on the fake penis and was ready to go.

“I unzipped my pants and carefully slid the fake penis through the zipper hole. To get the pee to come out of the tip, I had to squeeze the shaft repeatedly.”

He handed the cup of warm trainer urine to the tester, and it all worked. Odom was in the Olympics.

The story loses some of its humor when you think about where Odom’s addictions took him, literally to death’s door on the floor of a Nevada brothel. Fortunately, he has found a path back and will be back on the court playing in the Big 3 this summer.

That summer of 2004 Odom and the USA earned a bronze medal that changed the course of USA Basketball.

The Olympics in Greece was a disaster for USA Basketball. Stars stayed away because of a genuine fear of terrorism, plus many did not want to deal with coach Larry Brown. That USA team had LeBron James but at age 19, plus Carmelo Anthony and Dwyane Wade were also on the team but young — which went poorly with Brown as coach, he preferred veterans and didn’t like the roster makeup. The team was put together late, many of the players had never played internationally before, and then went up against an Argentinian team led by peak Manu Ginobili and a talented group of NBA-level players who had played together for years. The result was to be expected. Stephon Marbury called it the worst 38 days of his life. The USA came away with bronze.

That 2004 team forced USA Basketball to change how it did things, with Jerry Colangelo setting up a system that started with youth and rewarded participation, plus he brought in Mike Krzyzewski as coach. The attitude changed. The USA has dominated international play ever since (heading into the World Cup this summer in China, with a team coached by Gregg Popovich now).

What that 2004 team gave us were great stories. Such as Odom’s.

Brandon Ingram gets stitches near right eye after Dario Saric falls on his head (VIDEO)

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Brandon Ingram has taken a step forward this season in New Orleans, a team that has put the ball in his hands a lot and trusted the forward to make plays. Ingram is averaging 25.4 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 4.1 assists a game, shooting 41.5 percent from three, and is playing at a level that will get him All-Star consideration. He just happens to be doing all that in a contract year.

Which is why this was a scary moment: Phoenix’s Dario Saric fell on Ingram’s head.

Ingram went back to the locker room but the result was just stitches, according to the team.

It looks like it was not as bad as the video made it appear.

 

Portland reportedly to guaranteed Carmelo Anthony’s contract for rest of season

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Portland was in desperate need of frontcourt help but, like the rest of the league, it was not sold on Carmelo Anthony as the answer.

The Trail Blazers decided to take a chance on Anthony, but a low-risk one — a non-guaranteed contract.

It’s worked out better than anyone had hoped — Anthony is averaging 16.9 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 1.8 assists per game, and the Blazers have been +14.2 per 100 possessions when he is on the court. Portland is 4-4 since he was signed (although, to be fair, the four wins came after Damian Lillard returned from injury to the lineup).

With that, the Trail Blazers have decided to guarantee Anthony’s contract for the rest of the season, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

Consider this a reward for Anthony.

The bigger reward is that Anthony is getting to redefine the end of his career. Understandably he did not like the way it ended, with getting played off the floor in the playoffs for Oklahoma City, then only lasting 10 games in Houston. The market had dried up for Anthony until Portland came through with an offer.

Now Anthony will be with the Blazers through the end of the season. At the very least.

Rockets to officially protest loss to Spurs due to disallowed James Harden dunk

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After 48 hours of bluster, the Houston Rockets are going to follow through with actions.

The Rockets are going to officially protest Tuesday night’s loss to the Spurs on the grounds of James Harden‘s missed call, reports Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle. A protest requires proof of a  misapplication of a rule that seriously inhibits a team’s chance to win a game, the Rockets believe they have that and the league should allow the teams to replay the final 7:50 of the game (with the Rockets conveniently up by 15 at that point).

The Rockets prepared to file a protest of Tuesday’s loss to the Spurs, a person with knowledge of the team’s plans said, with an argument that will cite the James Harden dunk that did not count as an example of a “misapplication of rules.”

It will also cite subsequent errors in officials’ failing to grant a coaches’ challenge, though the primary argument is with points not being awarded following a made basket.

What’s not in question is that the referees missed the call on James Harden’s fourth-quarter dunk — it should have counted. After the game the officials, after reviewing the video, admitted as much.

In addition to the missed dunk, the Rockets also are arguing that coach Mike D’Antoni should have been allowed to challenge the play (another misapplication of a rule). The officials talked to D’Antoni for a handful of seconds, then moved away to debate the call itself — was it basket interference or something else — before settling on it being a missed shot with the ball out of bounds off Harden. D’Antoni said he was never given the chance to protest the call by the referees, after the game crew chief James Capers said D’Antoni did not protest the game within the required 30 seconds. Privately, some around the league question if D’Antoni actually told the officials he wanted to protest — he says he did, not everyone believes him.

Protests around the NBA are rarely upheld because the bar is incredibly high. A successful protest requires proof of a  misapplication of a rule that seriously inhibited a team’s chance to win a game. The Rockets argue that not giving Harden two points for a made basket qualifies as a misapplication of the rules, but others could argue it was just a missed call. There are a lot of those in every game (Russell Westbrook had a backcourt violation that was not called and became a Tyson Chandler dunk). 

This one play is not why the Rockets lost the game. Houston was up by 20 with 3:23 left in the third and by 10 with 3:53 left in the fourth but, as has followed a pattern with this team, could not hold the lead. Harden and Westbrook combined to shoot 17-of-68 on the night.

Because of that, and because there is 7:50 left in the game, it’s hard to imagine the league ruling to replay the end of the game. The Rockets likely will miss out on this.

But Houston — a team known in the league office for the deluge of referee complaints they file — is going to takes its best shot.

Former Suns coach Igor Kokoskov on Phoenix not drafting Luka Doncic: I sleep peacefully

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Mavericks star Luka Doncic looks is taking the NBA by storm at age 20.

Why did the Suns take Deandre Ayton No. 1 over Doncic – who went No. 3  – in last year’s NBA draft?

Phoenix’s coach was even Igor Kokoskov, who coached Doncic with the Slovenian national team.

Kokoskov, via Index, via Google Translate:

Unfortunately, I cannot answer that question because of a professional code, but when you have already asked me, I will tell you that I sleep peacefully and peaceably.

In other words: Kokoskov has no regrets about his input into the draft process. He’s hinting he wanted Doncic. (That’s easier to do after seeing how everything played out.)

Suns owner Robert Sarver reportedly pushed for Ayton, who played at nearby University of Arizona. Ayton looked like a reasonable choice at the time.

But Doncic’s ascent in Dallas leaves so much room for second-guessing. Maybe Kokoskov, who got fired after last season, would still be with the Suns if they drafted Doncic. Doncic would’ve done wonders for making Phoenix competitive last year – let alone beyond.

The Suns aren’t alone in facing these questions. The Kings are getting their share after drafting Marvin Bagley III No. 2.