Odom appears, says he’s still “hopeful” to return to the Lakers

The negotiations between Lamar Odom’s agent and the Lakers took a turn for the worse Monday afternoon, but it didn’t stop Odom from attending a celebration at the Nokia Theater for the release of the Lakers championship DVD.

Odom was about an hour and a half late, but said he wanted to attend to because “These are my brothers. We have a whole DVD about our season, it just seems surreal. You don’t ever know when or how or if you’re going to experience this again.”

It’s hard to say if it was the traffic on the way to downtown L.A. that was causing the change in mood, but it Odom certainly didn’t seem as calm or cool as he normally does.

Absolutely no one expected the negotiations to take this long and while he clearly wants to return to the Lakers, it was clear the process has worn on him.

“It’s business, you know what I’m saying,” he said. “It takes a little bit of the fun out of the game, but it’s part of it.”

Asked whether he felt at all unloved or unappreciated by the Lakers, Odom paused and said, “Ummm, it’s just the way it is. It’ll pay off.”

He did however acknowledge a bit of disappointment the negotiations haven’t gone as well as he’d hoped.

“It’s crazy because if you think about my career and playing basketball and somebody trying to do all the things to help a team win a championship, I felt like I’ve done that you know,” he said. “But it’ll pay off. It’ll pay off.”

Odom said he’d been laying low since the season ended and had made a point of not negotiating through the media because it was his intention to return to the Lakers and he didn’t want to influence the process taking place between his agent and the Lakers.

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  • Alexboii

    In my opinion, Bynum should be considered in trade talks. Even though he’s very young and showing promise, when you are paying him 2nd-best player money for a guy that only played 19 min in the finals, you sort of see he may not be all that essential. I’m a Sixers fan, and I thought of this 3-way deal that would involve the Lakers. Indiana would partake as well, landing them Andre Miller in a sign-and-trade (2 year, 17 Mil). The Lakers would get Thaddeus Young, Willie Green, and Jeff Foster. The Lakers would clear some salary space to help re-sign Odom (over 7 mil), as they are trading away Vujacic’s contract for a non-guaranteed one in Green’s. They also get insurance in Young in the case Lamar Odom does not return. The Sixers would get Andrew Bynum, T.J. Ford, and Jamaal Tinsley’s contract. The Pacers would get Miller, Samuel Dalembert, and Sasha Vujacic. Indiana has been wanting to shake up their PG situation, and a vet like Miller would be perfect, while getting rid of Tinsley’s contract. Although Dalembert’s contract is awful as well, at least he could play and replicate Foster’s numbers, while being a better rebounder and shot-blocker.

  • Harry

    Did Ariza show up?

  • Anonymous

    yeah, I wouldn’t trade bynum to philly thaddeus young , willie green and jeff foster dont fit in the laker scheme … Bynum also coming back from his knee injury he even said himself he was playing 80 percent and no confidence you can tell … next season if he makes it all the way through without injury he should be great

    you would love to have bynum over in philly

  • Jabambam

    I’m really hoping that lakers and Odom’s Agent can agree in signing the contract. Imagine the defense of Lakers of if this happen. Kobe and artest guarding outside and inside the 3 towers GASOL,BYNUM,ODOM. so cool

  • Drew

    I have to say that I am disappointed. But really this all comes back to Kobe. Kobe had a rare opportunity and he chose himself over the team. Kobe could have given up 3 million a year easily, and we wouldn’t be negotiating this long with LO who is needed by the team. David Lee annoys me as well, because we are paying Bynum too much, but really I think this is about Kobe. I also don’t think LO realizes that Kupchak will pull the plug on him. Look what happened with Ariza and Artest. The problem is that Kupchak doesn’t have the same options available. Who can he get to replace LO for 7-8 mil a year? Not really anyone. Artest was arguably an upgrade, but no one on the market is even considered the same level as LO. And that annoys me because LO is pushing because he thinks he has an advantage. From one perspective, that is smart business, but you have to make sure you don’t take advantage and anger your negotiating partner.

  • Moe

    I am becoming increasing frustrated with this talk that it comes back to Kobe. A professional athlete has a small window where they have prime earning power. They have to make the most of it, and they ALL do. Kobe puts in the work, and wants every dollar that his performance demands, which the same can be said for Lamar, or any other American working in the private sector. If anything, Dr. Buss, who generated $48 million in revenues from playoff home games alone could eat the cost (thats not including TV revenue). Hes been making a killing for decades and his family will continue to do so, unlike the athlete who has a much shorter window. Or maybe if we were not over-paying, the under-performing likes of Bynum, Walton, and Sasha we could offered more. I wish Mitch would have been so hard line in his negotiations there.

    My point is that this is not on Kobe, it is a management/ownership decision. They benefit the most financially, from the teaming winning championships, and they have to make the biggest sacrifice/investment to get that done. To ask a guy (Kobe) who has worked his whole life to get to the point where he can earn this type of pay check, for a few years, to sacrifice a pennyI really think is not fair nor the American way. It would be another thing if Buss was struggling, or if Mitch had not overpaid others. The onus falls on them, not Kobe.

  • Moe

    I am becoming increasing frustrated with this talk that it comes back to Kobe. A professional athlete has a small window where they have prime earning power. They have to make the most of it, and they ALL do. Kobe puts in the work, and wants every dollar that his performance demands, which the same can be said for Lamar, or any other American working in the private sector. If anything, Dr. Buss, who generated $48 million in revenues from playoff home games alone could eat the cost (thats not including TV revenue). Hes been making a killing for decades and his family will continue to do so, unlike the athlete who has a much shorter window. Or maybe if we were not over-paying, the under-performing likes of Bynum, Walton, and Sasha we could offered more. I wish Mitch would have been so hard line in his negotiations there.

    My point is that this is not on Kobe, it is a management/ownership decision. They benefit the most financially, from the teaming winning championships, and they have to make the biggest sacrifice/investment to get that done. To ask a guy (Kobe) who has worked his whole life to get to the point where he can earn this type of pay check, for a few years, to sacrifice a pennyI really think is not fair nor the American way. It would be another thing if Buss was struggling, or if Mitch had not overpaid others. The onus falls on them, not Kobe.

    Still, they really need to sign my man LO!!!

  • kupcake

    A Mess that could have been prevented.

    Odom wants 10M and Lakers offer 8M. 2M difference?
    -So why the rush of signing Shannon Brown for 2M. That 2M could easily have added to the 8M to make Lamar happy. Its as if they know Lamar would sign for whatever they offer…we are finding out this is wrong and the bluff might not pay off.
    -Why not waive Morrison’s 3M contract so that it would not count to the salary cap. Then sign Odom for 10M.
    -Why not get rid of other nonsense contracts like Vujacic’s $5M/year? Trade him for a 2nd rounder. Trade Walton’s 6M for draft picks (2 2nd rounders in the future) to sign Odom.

    Its not as easy at it seems but it can be done. I think there are some players in the roster that dont necessarily contribute that much but seem untouchable.

  • Trovon Williams

    All this is not as difficult an issue as either Lamar or LA is making it. Lamar Odom is a unique talent, but he is in no way a $10M player coming off the bench…yes he does cause a COMPLETE mismatch for any team with any line-up. But had he been doing what we saw in the early stages of the playoffs from the beginning…A: he wouldn’t have gone to the bench for an at the time unproven 24 year SF (Ariza) and B: They wouldn’t have been so pressed to go out and fill that void by brining in Artest. Yes Walton, Vujacic, and Bynum are all overpaid….so now you want to pay your 6th-man $10 million to compensate….doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me!?! Lastly if the market for Lamar was so big we would have already heard about the potential suitors….but it’s not….He is looking at $7-8M regardless of what team he joins because no one is gonna pay a 31 year old SF that kind of money for him to decided wether or not he wants to show up or not. $10M/per means 18pt 10rebs 5assist….does he have that skill set without question! But we haven’t seen it produced every night in 10 years…why now!?! He needs to sign a 3 year extension at $8M per..considering he made $11.5M last year without starting. He needs L.A. and vice versa…I think $8M a year coming off the bench is more then fair for a 10year vet with no All-Star appearances….and a consistent record of being INCONSISTENT! Sign the contract…and go win another title!

  • Lakers Guy

    Lamar Odom is a great talent but he’s no 10M/year guy even if he started. Secondly, the economy is not that good, that’s why player’s value in money decreases and he needs to consider that. If he wants 10M$ then I’d rather take Boozer’s contract for 12M$ and make it a better trade chip before February. A lot of players are better than him who is being paid less, why not have them instead?

    Let him shop teams and let’s see if anyone is willing to pay him 10M. I dont even think anyone would like to pay him 8M.

    In the end, paying him more for a long contract will end us up destroying our future. It will make himself an immovable piece just when time comes that LA would plan to rebuild.

  • mrfab

    That trade sucks. Bynum is on the brink. You wasted alot of time thinking up a trade that doesn’t even make sense to discuss. Wow you would make an amazing GM. Someone boot Kupchak outta there.