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Where Is Lamar Odom?

Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Lamar Odom is a former fourth overall pick in the NBA draft, two-time NBA champion, Olympic bronze medalist, FIBA World Champion gold medalist, yet, no one knows where the 33-year-old is. TMZ is reporting that the Los Angeles Clippers forward has been missing for the last three days.

News broke on Friday that Odom has battled drug problems for the last two years, and that his wife, Khloe Kardashian has “kept this secret for almost two years trying to save Lamar and their marriage.”

According to the report, Odom had a short stint in a rehab facility, but left after three weeks. The Kardashian family recently held an intervention, but Odom refused to go back to rehab, which led his wife to kick him out of the house. Since then, no one has seen or heard from him and there are concerns he is on a “drug-binge.”

From TMZ.com

We’re told the situation has become dire.  Sources tell us … within the last 2 days, the entire family staged an intervention, trying to convince Lamar to go back to rehab, but he wouldn’t have any of it.

In 2001, Odom was suspended twice in an eight month span for violating the league’s anti-drug policy. He bounced back, however, and won two championships with the Los Angeles Lakers. He holds career averages of 13.3 points and 8.4 rebounds.

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Top 50 NBA Players: Toughest Omissions

[caption id="attachment_3901" align="alignright" width="210"] Apr. 4, 2011; Portland, OR, USA; Portland Trail Blazers small forward Nicolas Batum (88) dunks the ball on New Jersey Nets guard MarShon Brooks

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Most Interesting Games: Argentina 89 USA 81

This article compliments our lockout feature Most Interesting Teams in the World where we look back on some great teams of the past. In this feature, we look at their greatest games.

Set-Up

Beating Team USA is kind of a big deal. So when Argentina beat the US at the 2002 FIBA World Championships, they were given a standing ovation by the other competing teams in their hotel lobby. I like to think that it went down kind of like the scene in Remember the Titans where Denzel Washington’s neighbors all come out at night to applaud his coaching efforts. I imagine that Fabricio Oberto put Pepe Sanchez on his shoulders in the same way Washington put his fictional daughter on his. Continue Reading

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Prying Open the LA Panic Room

Lakers fans feel emasculated. Losing to the Charlotte Bobcats was one thing. Looking listless against the Cleveland Cavaliers, a team that practically redefined losing this year? Pathetic. It reminds me of a classic scene from my childhood.

You’ve been called out, Lakers fans – and by the most ragtag group of rascals (and Antawn Jamison) in the NBA. By a team that lost the only pair of PF Flyers they’d ever seen this summer. By a team you vanquished earlier in the season by a double-nickel, MJ’s favorite number in New York.*

*His favorite number in Vegas? Red. Or the hard eight, if he’s feeling loose.

But to quote your own beloved scribe, Los Angeles, “Easy there, Romeo.” Slow your roll on that panic disco. Is it disconcerting that the Lakers were defeated by a team they should dominate? Undoubtedly. Does their lack of effort against the dregs of professional basketball represent the collapse of morality and competition into a black hole of vacuous indifference and switch-flipping? If that’s the gravy you want to pour on your regular season meatloaf, I won’t argue.* It clearly diminishes the significance of our 82-game buffet – something a much wiser man than I called his “favorite thing in sports.”

*Personally, I see using your energy and resources sparingly if necessary as a wise strategy, and strategy is a part of competition. But I have a poker player’s perspective, so everything I say should be viewed as underhanded and weasel-y.

Continue Reading

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Thoughts on Jerry Sloan’s Retirement

If you never got the chance to watch Jerry Sloan coach a game in person, you missed something amazing. Even in the past couple years, with Sloan pushing 70, his focus on the ebbs and flows of the game was amazingly intense.

He’d sit on the bench with those hawk-like eyes, and whenever he saw a missed call, he’d jump out of his seat like he had springs in his pants; barking and hollering at the refs like they were part of some evil conspiracy to throw the game and destroy the world.

He was so animated that even fans who didn’t see the missed call would start hollering too, even if they didn’t know what they were hollering for.

Over time, the fans got better at noticing what Jerry was reacting to and better at seeing the game the way that Jerry saw the game. Before long, the Jazz fan base started looking for things like offensive schemes and off-ball screens and needle threading passes to the open man on the cut. Continue Reading

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Thoughts on Jerry Sloan’s Retirement

If you never got the chance to watch Jerry Sloan coach a game in person, you missed something amazing. Even in the past couple years, with Sloan pushing 70, his focus on the ebbs and flows of the game was amazingly intense.

He’d sit on the bench with those hawk-like eyes, and whenever he saw a missed call, he’d jump out of his seat like he had springs in his pants; barking and hollering at the refs like they were part of some evil conspiracy to throw the game and destroy the world.

He was so animated that even fans who didn’t see the missed call would start hollering too, even if they didn’t know what they were hollering for.

Over time, the fans got better at noticing what Jerry was reacting to and better at seeing the game the way that Jerry saw the game. Before long, the Jazz fan base started looking for things like offensive schemes and off-ball screens and needle threading passes to the open man on the cut. Continue Reading

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Carmelo Anthony to the Lakers?

While hoops fans were busy talking about the Bobcats surprising win over the Celtics last night, the upcoming showdown between Blake Griffin and Dwight Howard, and the #lastimethecavswon fun on Twitter, news broke that could change the entire landscape of the NBA season.

That news? A potential Carmelo Anthony to the Lakers deal.

From ESPN.com:

The Lakers’ package would be built around center Andrew Bynum. Denver has no interest in Ron Artest and isn’t particularly interested in Lamar Odom either, sources said. A straight-up deal of Bynum for Anthony works financially, but there could be other players involved since Denver would look to shed more salary if possible.

Well, now isn’t that something. And while that is something, I simply cannot see this happening. Continue Reading

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Game Preview: Spurs versus Lakers

Tonight, the San Antonio Spurs head into Los Angeles for a big game against the Lakers. If the Lakers vs Celtics game on Sunday was a preview of a potential NBA Finals, this game could be a preview of the Western Conference Finals. The Spurs head into this game following a tough loss to Portland Trailblazers, while the Lakers narrowly avoided defeat in a game against the Houston Rockets. So what does this game mean?

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NBA Game Rankings: 11/21/10

Oct 19, 2010; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Sacramento Kings guards Beno Udrih (19), left, and Tyreke Evans (13) during the game against the Los Angeles Clippers at the Staples Center. The Kings defeated the Clippers 96-94. Photo via Newscom

(Source: Yardbarker.com)

There’s only four games on the schedule for tonight, and it’ll be hard to top what turned out to be a fantastic night of games last night. You had Rudy Gay‘s buzzer beater. You had Blake Griffin scoring 44. And you had Stephen Jackson recording the first triple-double in Bobcats’ history. It was quite a night in the Association, and we’ll see if any of these games can bring us that same kind of entertainment. Continue Reading

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Zone defense against the Lakers

Can Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol handle the Suns' 2-3 zone?

The Phoenix Suns showed the Los Angeles Lakers that they aren’t just going to roll over and allow the defending champs to waltz into the NBA Finals for the third consecutive year.

On Sunday night, the Suns defeated the Lakers on their home court by a score of 118-109 on the strength of a defensive effort absent in Games 1 and 2, in which the Lakers scored 128 points and 124 points, respectively.

But aside from the advantage of playing in front of their fans at home on Sunday, there was another reason the Suns excelled on defense. Noticing the Lakers’ complete obliteration on the front line, coach Alvin Gentry decided to make a change. Deviating from the man-to-man defense he instituted in the first two contests, in Game 3 he had his team playing a 2-3 zone defense.

Continuously discussed before and during the beginning of the series was the Suns’ deficiency in the front court against the trio of Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum, and Lamar Odom off the bench. And that was only magnified by Amar’e Stoudemire’s comment that Odom “got lucky” with his 19 rebounds in Game 1.

The goal of the zone defense, particularly the 2-3, allows the defense to swarm easily on Gasol and the others down low (or deny the entry pass altogether and keep the ball out of the paint), nullifying their advantage and making any shot in the immediate basket area a difficult one.

There are typically drawbacks to such a defensive scheme, though. With a good passer in the post like Gasol for the Lakers, the Suns run the risk of a kick-out pass to an open shooter. With three men left clogging the middle, that leaves only two defenders remaining to close out on three possible jump shooters.

Luckily for the Suns, the Lakers are not a great perimeter-shooting team. Other than Kobe Bryant, who played very well (36 points, 9 rebounds, 11 assists), their other guards aren’t very good three-point shooters. Ron Artest, specifically, has been dreadful from the outside thus far.

If the Suns can continue to execute on defense, the zone should help them deep into this series. But as soon as the Lakers set in to the mindset that they have to attack the zone with drives from the outside, it could wreak some havoc and get Phoenix into early foul trouble.

That said, it’s really their only option right now. In Games 1 and 2, the Suns were lame ducks looking to be blown away by the Lakers. In Game 3, they showed what most were expecting coming off of a series sweep of the San Antonio Spurs. The series should get interesting from here on out.

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