Did The Los Angeles Lakers Trade Forward Lamar Odom To The Dallas Mavericks As A Way Of Payback To Attempt To Ruin The Mavericks Season?
Last year when the Dallas Mavericks swept the Los Angeles Lakers, 4-0 in the Western Conference Semi-Finals, as they defeated the Lakers at home 122-86, the Lakers didn’t go away quietly.
Two “cheap” shot fouls by Lakers Forward, Lamar Odom who went after Mavericks’ star Forward, Dirk Nowitzki and the other by Lakers Center, Andrew Bynum who delivered an elbow to Mavericks Guard, J.J. Barea.
Many called it “Unnecessary,” “Outrageous,” “Shocking,” and even “Bush League,” as ESPN analyst, Mike Tirico called it, “And that is one of the biggest bush league things I’ve ever seen! That is terrible!”
The Mavericks would go onto defeat the Oklahoma City Thunder and then the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals, crowning themselves as the 2010-11 NBA Champions.
However, their meeting with Odom, one of the two Lakers’ players involved in the “Bush League” acts would become a lot closer; like every day closer.
After being involved in a trade that was going to send New Orleans Hornets Guard, Chris Paul to the Lakers and Odom to the Hornets, as well as many other players swapping teams, the trade however, would get vetoed. Due to the trade veto by NBA commissioner, David Stern, Odom would be sent back to Los Angeles where he then said he felt “disrespected.”
His reasoning for feeling “disrespected” by the Lakers organization was due to being traded. As a result to the trade that was eventually vetoed, Odom said that he couldn’t return to Los Angeles to play and as a result wanted to be traded.
So, the Lakers honored his wish and on December 11th they traded him to the Dallas Mavericks in exchange for a first round draft pick and an $8.9 million trade exception.
When the trade became public, many were shocked that the Lakers, as well as the Mavericks made this deal. Bringing in a player (Odom) who shouldered your superstar (Nowitzki) intentionally? That seems to be a bit bizarre to add a player like that to your team. However, the Mavericks did it and they sure did pay the price.
Odom who played in all 82 games for the Lakers the season before and who averaged 14.4 ppg, 8.6 rpg, and 3.0 apg. as well as the NBA’s sixth man of the year, transitioned to Dallas as a player who didn’t deserve to even have a roster spot. And the worst part about the move too, was that you could just tell that Odom didn’t want to be there.
He drew the final straw, sources said during Saturday’s game against the Memphis Grizzlies where after only playing four minutes in the first half, owner; Mark Cuban went into the locker room at FedExFourm Arena where he confronted Odom asking him pretty much, are you in or are you out? Sources said that Odom then responded very angrily and as a result it showed as in the second half Odom remained on the bench as the Mavericks would go onto lose 89-94.
So, as a result to his poor play (6.6 ppg, 4.1 rpg, and 1.7 apg.) and lack of interest, Odom as of Monday was placed on the inactive list by the Mavericks ending his 2011-12 NBA season.
“We’re in our playoff time right here,” Donnie Nelson said. “We need to win games. We got to be able to look down that bench and count on folks to be consistent. Unfortunately with him in his state right now, he’s just not capable of doing that.”
Now seeing this whole thing unravel from the end of that game four game, in Dallas back in May of last year, all the way up until now, was this Odom trade to Dallas a set-up? Was it a way of “pay-back” by the Lakers?
Staples Center is only right down the road from Hollywood.
So is it really possible that General Manager, Mitch Kupchak and Lamar Odom, truly discussed this on that Friday, December 9th, two days before the trade that sent Odom to Dallas?
Did they honestly talk about ruining the Mavericks season, a team at the time who brought in new players and looked almost un-stoppable as they for sure looked like they were going to repeat?
No one knows as what went on in that meeting on that Friday, December day. As it remains private and most likely will remain private for the rest of their lives. However, is it a possibility that they discussed that? Yes.