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The Credits 7/31/09

The Summer of Lamar has concluded.  Finally.  Here are today's links:

  (Hat tip to Gils_Keloids for the video)

  • Lamar Odom: From Mean Streets sans Mean Streak - Silver Screen and Roll
    Lamar Odom has just signed a new contract with the Los Angeles Lakers. Here's a little piece that may be of interest reviewing his life story and his career.
  • Lamar Odom is back with Lakers - Los Angeles Times
    He was asleep, dreaming about playing basketball somewhere, preferably back with the Lakers -- with his cellphone turned off -- unaware his agent had worked out a deal. When Lamar Odom awoke Thursday, the free-agent forward turned on his phone and heard the message from his agent, Jeff Schwartz:"You're still a Laker," the message said. Odom called his agent back to confirm it. Odom and the Lakers had agreed on a four-year deal, reportedly for $33 million, with a team option for the final year. The versatile 6-foot-10 forward will earn less than the last Lakers offer of about $36 million over four years, but that offer was pulled off the table two weeks ago by owner Jerry Buss.But after a month of talking, posturing, having the Lakers' offer taken away and then both sides resuming negotiations, and with the Miami Heat making a push to sign him, Odom is back with the Lakers.
  • Forum Blue And Gold " Odom Signs — Watching the Sausage Get Made
    Sometimes, those age-old adages are around because they’re accurate. Like the one often referred to when talking about congressional legislation — everyone loves sausage but you don’t want to see it get made. Welcome to the Lamar Odom negotiations. We all love how it ended (at least Lakers fans) — four years, 33 million with a Laker option on the fourth year. That works out to an average of $8.25 million a year, which before this entire process started is about what I and a number of people thought was the fair market value for Odom. Odom gave a little, the Lakers gave a little, everyone is happy. With him back in the fold, and the Lakers as title favorites, this is some tasty sausage.
  • It took some time, but Odom is back where he belongs
    I guess Lamar Odom was right when he said "everything is a negotiation." At any rate, I'm just glad it worked out to each side's moderate liking, because this Lamar Odom situation was really distressing me. I guess you could say I'm somewhat of a sports Marxist, a pro-player guy and the Lakers' stop-n-go negotiations with Odom this past month were making me do what I typically never do. I almost always want these athletes to make as much dough as they can. If some owner wants to give Smush Parker a four-year/$80 million contract, that's fine with me. That's profoundly stupid, but, hey, it's not my money, ya dig? But there are those few, sporadic, seldom times when I begrudge a player his cash and back the, uh, when it's my team, which just so happens to be the Los Angeles Lakers. And throughout this whole saga, I never thought the Lakers were acting irrationally and I think Odom knew this. That's why he didn't flee in a huff.
  • How Odom Became Vital To L.A.'s Title Defense - Bethlehem Shoals - The Baseline - Sporting News
    Odom is quite a cult figure, and a source of endless intrigue. He's not just a role player, not even a glorified one like Shaq or Sheed wil be. Kobe and Pau weren't going anywhere. But two major stars does not a system make. The Lakers need Lamar Odom to be Lamar Odom, with all the good and bad that entails. Only then will they stay enough of themselves to take Artest and a steady Bynum as new assets, not a new direction that requires some getting used to. Which is a long way of saying, I'm glad that Odom decided to stay in LA. Teaming up with Artest will be great, memory lane-ish stuff. And it was clearly his first choice; who wouldn't want to return and play for another title? I just never expected Odom to be the guy that repeat hinged on.

More Lakers, Lamar, and NBA related links after the Jump.  Click on through...

  • Keeping Odom should keep Lakers on top of NBA - NBA News - FOX Sports on MSN
    That said, here's the usual run-down on what Odom will bring to next season's Lakers.
    Pros: Simply put, Odom can do just about everything he puts his mind to. Rebound, handle, run, jump, shoot from long range, post-up, pass and defend. All this at either the small forward or the power forward positions — and even playing center in selected matchups. More specifically, he can drive effectively both ways but prefers going left — and therefore works very hard (mostly with a nifty right-to-left crossover) to get back to his left hand. He's quite a handful when he posts on the right block and looks for his lefty jump hook or turnaround jumper. And he's learned to be aggressive when playing without the ball.
    Cons: His habitual lack of focus is a problem. Too often, Odom will disappear and not be a factor whatsoever. This happens perhaps one out of every three games in the regular season and one game per playoff series. Also, his 3-ball stroke can be flat. Plus, he exhibits too much ball and body movement at the stripe and is therefore little better than a lifetime 70 percent shooter from there, which is slightly below the average league-wide efficiency.
    Prognosis: With both Odom and Ron Artest in the fold, the Lakers are heavy favorites to repeat. All they need to round out their roster is another lively big man off the bench — Josh Powell doesn't fill the bill — and a guard/wing who can provide another reliable scorer off the bench. It could very well be, however, that if Adam Morrison's leg has healed and fully regained its strength, he could be the secondary scorer for the second unit.
    Note: The Lakers would have had absolutely no chance to re-sign Odom if there was an NBA franchise in Hershey, Pa.
  • Thus endeth the L.O.C.O. (thoughts, links, and poll questions) | Lakers Blog | Los Angeles Times
    A few thoughts and a couple of poll questions on the re-signing of Lamar Odom- anyone who frequents this space knows I believe the Lakers had to bring him back, whether based on the metrics or team chemistry issues (You remember the whole Ron Artest signing, right?)
  • Celebrate Lamar Odom's return to Lakers, but don't plan another parade just yet - Los Angeles Times
    Rejoice, Rejoice, Rejoice! The Lakers have signed Lamar Odom! The dangerous game of chicken is over. We can breathe easy again, we can begin celebrating back-to-back titles a year ahead of time! Start collecting the confetti for next June's parade to the Coliseum. Uh, hold on a minute, not so fast . . .
  • Hardwood Paroxysm " Blog Archive " Hurrah. The 09-10 Season Is Officially Perfunctory.
    So everyone can be happy we can see the "beauty" of this Lakers team for another year. And sure, we lost a chance at something cool as hell in Wade-Odom, but in return we get to see the winningest franchise in the NBA win more games. Which is great. For them. So just to review, every small market team is in the red so bad they’re trading franchise centers for shorter contracts and drafting players they know they won’t have to pay that much, while the largest market with a winning tradition in the league re-signs its best player for less than what he’s worth and adds another great player to the mix.
  • Lamar Odom in Purple and Gold: Meant to Be - TrueHoop By Henry Abbott - ESPN
    J.A. Adande and Marc Stein report that the Lakers and Lamar Odom have come to terms. Doesn't it feel that this was somewhat inevitable? Five reasons I say that:
  • Oddsmakers see Lakers as NBA favorites, with or without Lamar Odom - Los Angeles Times
    "Getting [forward Ron] Artest is better than losing Lamar," said Jay Rood, director of the MGM/Mirage Race and Sports Book. The Lakers signed free agent Artest this month. "The core of that team still is what it is, and as long as you keep Kobe [Bryant] and [Coach] Phil [Jackson], nothing changes." At MGM/Mirage, the Lakers are an 8-5 favorite to win the NBA title, followed by the Boston Celtics, and recent addition Rasheed Wallace, at 3-1, and the Cleveland Cavaliers, with Shaquille O'Neal joining LeBron James, at nearly 4-1. The Orlando Magic are 13-2 and the San Antonio Spurs are 7-1. "We didn't change anything when they got Artest, and if they lose Odom it'll just be a wash," said Jay Kornegay, executive director of the Las Vegas Hilton's Race and Sports book, which has the Lakers as the 2-1 favorite over the 3-1 Cavaliers and 5-1 Celtics. "Odom's a component, but he's not a star. As that team has already shown, if they lose someone, they'll find someone else."
  • Forum Blue And Gold " The Lakers, The Point Guard and The Future
    There was only one position last season where the Lakers got below average offensive production — point guard. It’s the only position where when you compare the Lakers PER with the PER of their opponents at the position, the Lakers are a net negative — point guard. I could spend the next 500 words using stats to break down the problem, but nobody who watched the Lakers last season really needs convincing. The one is an obvious problem going forward. The issue isn’t that the Lakers couldn’t stop Tony Parker, because nobody really can stop Tony Parker with the current rules. The problem was when Aaron Brooks looked like an All Star. And the parade of other Aaron Brookses from last season. Playing the Lakers was like Christmas Day for quick point guards. Despite the cries of some, this issue is not one for the short term — this season Derek Fisher will start with Jordan Farmar and Shannon Brown come off the bench. And, as last season proved, that combination is good enough to win an NBA title. But this is the position that needs to be addressed as the Lakers championship window moves forward for the next several years. And there are a lot more questions than answers when addressing the long-term issues.
  • Report: Lakers, Cavs to Headline NBA's Christmas Day Schedule -- NBA FanHouse
    It certainly doesn't take a basketball savant to figure out what the NBA's main event will be on Christmas Day. The league typically uses the holiday to showcase its top teams (or juiciest story lines) to the masses, so the report out of Cleveland that Shaquille O'Neal, LeBron James and the Cavaliers will face Kobe Bryant and the defending champion Lakers in the afternoon game should come as no surprise.
  • Artest Runs Through China at BasketBlog
  • Ron Artest Reenacts the Brawl -- NBA FanHouse
    Ron Artest is in Hong Kong cutting tracks with pop star Shin Shin. The singer asked Ron-Ron about the infamous brawl in Detroit in 2004.
  • YouTube - Ron Artest VLOG: Detroit Brawl
    Ron's in Hong Kong Shin Shin asks him about the Detroit Brawl

  • Is Pau Gasol the Best Power Forward in the Game Today? | Lakers Nation
    Ladies and gentlemen of the jury what we will attempt to discover here today is a question that has been debated on bar stools and around water coolers since the beginning of sport, who is the greatest? Over the years the burden of the greatest has shifted from one man to another throughout the sports world, some even making their names by declaring, without hesitation, that it is indeed they who hold that mantle. Many candidates exist but only a few of them are able to logically be considered in contention for the top spot, and differences in sports and eras only further complicate the situation. Therefore we will take a very narrow approach to this latest edition of Who's on Top and look at one position in one sport and go from there. Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, if you will, follow me down a road of championships and post up baby hooks as we attempt to decide once more, who is the best power forward currently playing in the National Basketball Association.

Other NBA related Links:

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