Friday, 7 January 2011


The ballot of Los Angeles,

By Tim David Harvey

Jan 19, 2009 - Los Angeles, California, USA - Laker LAMAR ODOM #7 was all smiles with KOBE BRYANT #24 in the second half. Los Angeles Lakers defeat Cleveland Cavalierst at the Staples Center Photo via Newscom

Kobe's a given, that's why he's the top vote getter. Pau Gasol? Sure he's a regular. Ron Artest? Yep there's no one like him, defensively or mentally, put him in. Andrew Bynum? Sure he's been injured, but off the bench yes and who else is there? Derek Fisher even? Hey, there's a Twitter campaign going, now wouldn't that be nice? He deserves it (but that's for a separate piece). You know what I'm talking about, it's time to tick the ballots and punch the holes out of the paper. No, no the mid-terms have passed, this is the NBA All-Star voting where talking about.

With so much talent on view for the Lake Show this could be like '96 all over again. Just like when Shaq, Kobe and mid-nighties, purple and gold legends Eddie Jones and Nick 'The Quick' Van Exel suited up in those gaudy, instantly dated All-Star uni's. Face it like face time the Lakers could easily field their starting lineup at this years game. They may as well, the game is being played at STAPLES after all. Still, especially with all the inconsistencies it's not the starting lineup that's most deserving of the honor, it's their most consistent player and their sixth man, Lamar Odom.

Forget 'Khloe and Lamar' for a second, the only thing you need to keep up with is what Lamar Odom showcases on the court. The only reality you need to tune into is that this guy is the most diverse, versatile player in the league. He is the difference maker, the do it all guy everybody wants on their team. Part what Kevin Garnett is, part what Anthony Randolph is going to be. Just like what Pat Riley said back in the Miami days, just like Magic.

Odom's got his own tricks two. From a great inside and out game, on both ends of the floor, to passing first and shooting from anywhere when needed. He's a triple, double machine and his 16 and 10 double, double average is two buckets away from being the 20 and 10 sought after figures that are generally considered, Dwight, Amare or legendary numbers...and they said Lamar was soft. No he's togh, like his New York upbringing. Q.B.'s finest like Nas and Ron Artest, now that's two games legendary, so let's give him one more.

May 27, 2010 - Los Angeles, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES - epa02176313 Los Angeles Lakers forward Lamar Odom (R) and Los Angeles Lakers forward Ron Artest (L) look on during a break in action during the first half against the Phoenix Suns in game five of the NBA Western Conference Final in Los Angeles, California, USA, 27 May 2010. The Lakers and Suns are tide in a best of seven series two games all.

Most of these points come off the bench as well. OK, so with the injuries the Lakers have suffered this year from Bynum to everyone, L.O. has started more than he's had pine time. Still, now he's willingly and ably back in his revserve role, Lamar could still be the NBA's 'Sixth Man Of The Year' and one of the best ever in this position (but that's for another article). Besides Lamar has saved the short-handed Lakers from falling even shorter. Isn't that the hallmarks of a top sixth man? Coming in hot when his cold team needs him? Still as said, that's for a different article.

This unique player deserves the exclusive honor of playing mid-February and not just looking flash and Hollywood on the sidelines watching. What does he gave to do? Shave a star into his head again? The voters may put him out of their minds for the Durant's etc, that's fair enough but the coaches shouldn't snub him yet again. The majority of these coaches would love him on their team, so does everybody else... word to Nelly Furtado (whether that's a cool reference or not both his game and her are as hot as each other). He was good enough for America and the rest of the world in2010 as he and the U.S. took home gold. So why isn't everyone else now sold?

Sure this guy probably shouldn't start, but what's more perfect than this sixth man coming off the bench? He plays like an All-Star so he should be given that declaration. Gone are the days where bench players and sixth men weren't good enough to play with the big boys. Bobby Jackson changed all that and no one knows that more than the Lakers. Good second units and bench mobs are what take ordinary teams to champions and if you where to start a second team today Lamar Odom would be your franchise guy for sure. He'll be a Laker legend when it's all said and done, Worthy like James. So why is he getting less action in February then 'Call Of Duty' all nighters?

Los Angeles Lakers' Lamar Odom (R) and former Laker James Worthy share a moment during the basketball team's media day at the Lakers training facility in El Segundo, California on September 25, 2010. The Lakers will try to three-peat this season after winning back-to-back NBA championship titles. UPI/Jim Ruymen Photo via Newscom

Lamar's entertaining and a genuine star. He deserves the vote, people should return the favour. We've had three rounds of this now. It's time for pen to meet paper halfway like Odom's success meets what he shares. This do it all, versatile forward is cool but not laid back. Don't let that smooth demeanour fool you. That equally silky game is worked and honed to perfection. This is the product of nothing lazy, so why sleep, appreciate. He's everything you could ever want and need on your team.

If Kobe's having a 9 for 21 night, Lamar will come in and make the extra shot after shots. Jumper or critics, Odom rebounds from being written off to sign in for his team and take them out of situation critical. Others would simply clock out, call the game on an account of pain. L.O. takes no L though, he's no loser, mind over matter. If Pau needs help in that hardened frontcourt, Lamar will come in and clean the glass and polish off missed shots, en route to as many double, doubles as Pau or anybody in this league gets. Do you have to be told twice? Lamar's overcome it all, personal and/or what we can write about, year after year, cycle after cycle. He's been through the storm and survived to reign. Championship ring. Back to back ring any bells? Don't confuse selflessness for weakness. He's all team, he's all-star. The everything man. Give him something.

He would be one of your best picks to start a first team, believe it or not, fantasy or reality. Youth and experience. Offence and defence. Inside and out. This versatility is why he would start on any other team in the league, (even his old Miami team and all their hot 'superfriends') and this fact is why he is an All-Star, vote or die, change or George Bush. Forget 'yes we can', make it happen! Tick the box, punch his name, write 'Lamar Odom' down as that special extra name you'd usually reserve for another fan favourite (unless it's Fisher). Then repeat and do it all again. Like clockwork. It's time.

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