You have probably heard this many times but its true. Lamar Odom is the X factor for the lakers. When he plays good the Lakers are nearly unstoppable. When he doesn't they are easily beatable. Lamar Odom is a skilled big man. He stands 6 feet 10 inches tall and has the handles of a point guard. He can knock down the three ball and post up. He is the NBA's most versatile player, able to play literally any position from point guard to center. And because of this he may be the Laker's most valuable player.
Coming from off the bench for the Lakers, Lamar Odom is eleventh in the NBA in rebounds per game with 9.8. He is the highest player on the list to come off of the bench, and would no doubt be higher if he received starter's minutes. Odom started his career playing in the Staples Center, but just for a different team. Lamar was drafted fourth overall in the 1999 NBA Draft by the Clippers. In his debut he scored an amazing 30 points and 12 rebounds. That year he placed third in the rookie of the year voting, was named to the All NBA First Rookie Team and the future looked very bright for Lamar. Then everything came crashing down, Odom was suspended for drugs and he became a free agent.
Odom was signed by the Miami Heat. Lamar again had a very succesful year but was traded to his current team, the Lakers, in a package deal involving Caron Butler for Shaquille O'neal. Odom was a fan favorite in Los Angeles for years, but his inconsistent play as a starter, and left many to doubt in his abilities. Eventually he was moved to the bench backing up the newly aquired Pau Gasol and budding star Andrew Bynum. Lamar has thrived off of his role and was a major part in the Laker's finals run in 2008 and championship title the year after.
Now Lamar Odom once again has to prove his abilites. He has the skills to become an all-star, but often plays inconsistent or without hustle. If the Lakers want to hang with the Celtics and win the title again, Lamar has to be the man. He has to be the spark off of the bench. Odom really is the X factor for the Lakers. He is the difference between winning and losing. He is the league's X Man.
Thanks to flickr for the photo.