One of the main changes in the Lakers this year has been Lamar Odom’s shift from starter to sixth man. It’s a trend that’s actually become somewhat en vogue around the league.
“It doesn’t really matter, you see a lot of players coming off the bench that are extremely successful,” Lakers guard Kobe Bryant said during training camp. “It doesn’t decrease your value. In fact, if you come off the bench and provide a spark, it increases your value.
“Robert Horry is one of the greatest clutch players of all-time, and he hated starting. He’d literally beg (coach) Phil (Jackson) not to start.
“I don’t see the big thing about starting, to be honest with you. Dwyane Wade came off the bench for us this summer (at the Olympics). People make too much about it because you get to run out, take your warmups off, you get that spotlight thing-a-ma-jiggy that announces your name, big deal. I think that a lot of times when people talk about it, they assume that the starters are the five best players on the team, and that’s not necessarily the case.”