Lamar Odom has always been one of the most candid, genuine guys to talk with in the NBA. To say he wears his heart on his sleeve would be an understatement. It was pretty revealing then, that after two weeks as the butt of coach Phil Jackson’s jabs, Odom stayed late after practice Monday, speaking openly and deeply about why he’d like to remain in Los Angeles for the rest of his career.
“I’m loyal, really loyal. People that show me love, I can’t help but show them love back,” Odom said. “I love doing things here. When I go out in L.A., I get receptions just from being here so long, going through trials and tribulations, good times and bad times, and I think people respect that, especially people that have been through tough times.”
Odom will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season. He’ll turn 29 on November 6, meaning that his next contract will likely be his last, big payday.
“My family has sacrificed. Especially my kids, as far as living in New York, living without me, so this will probably be my last go-round,” Odom said, when asked how much longer he’d like to play. “Maybe 34, 35 years old, I’d still be young, I’d love to go home and be able to take my daughter to volleyball games, go to parent teacher night, take my son to his basketball games, football games.”
Does this loyalty mean Odom would give the Lakers a so-called hometown discount?
“Possibly,” he said. “But I also have to make a wise business decision according to my family and what needs to be done to keep or to start an Odom tradition.”