Leaving Las Vegas

After spending a few days and nights at the Las Vegas summer league, a few things became perfectly clear. Kinda. Sorta.

First, the Lakers’ decision to pull their offer(s) to Lamar Odom off the table can be viewed as nothing more than a negotiating tactic. But it’s in their best interest to take another run at Odom in the next few days. They’re a championship team with him on the roster, but it’s unclear how good they can be without him. I don’t think this is dead yet. Then again, Odom played one season with Miami after leaving the Clippers as a free agent in 2003 and had one productive season before returning to L.A. in the Shaquille O’Neal trade.

Second, Adam Morrison is doing a great deal to turn his career around while playing with the Lakers’ summer league team. He is averaging a team-leading 20 points through four games. He’s not shooting as well as he would like, but he’s moving well and his surgically-repaired left knee is not giving him any problems. I don’t think he is the answer to the Lakers’ problems if Odom decides to sign elsewhere, however.

Third, there’s no one else on the summer squad who can make the team.

Fourth, the Clippers’ Blake Griffin has a chance to be an impact player in his rookie year.

Fifth, there really is such a thing as too much of a good thing. I watched all or part of five games over the course of two days and nights and after a while it all blended together and it was difficult to keep straight. Who are all these players? Why are they here? And why are so many people watching them play? Then again, it was 105 degrees outside, but nice and cool inside Thomas and Mack and the adjacent Cox Pavilion.

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