Over the last week it has been reported that former Laker, Lamar Odom wants to come back to Los Angeles.
And apparently the feeling is mutual. Head Coach Mike Brown and Kobe Bryant have both expressed interest in Odom’s return. All is well in Laker Land.
Well. Maybe not.
There are only two ways for Odom to get back into the Purple and Gold.
1. The Dallas Mavericks have to trade him to the Lakers. Odom is still under contract with the Mavs. So they have a decision to make. They can trade him or buy out his contract and make him a free agent.
2. Odom becomes a free agent and then waits until December 11th. That’s right, he will have to sit out part of the season. Under the new collective bargaining agreement, a player cannot return to a team he was traded from for one full year. It seems very doubtful that Lamar would sit out. But you never know. He’s a different breed of cat.
So, really, the only scenario for Lamar Odom to return to the Lakers would be via a trade. And would the Mavs, and Mark Cuban, be willing to make that trade? Doubtful.
So there is a way for Odom to come back home to the Lakers but it will be a strange and winding one. Luckily, Lamar is used to those type of trips.
It was just a few weeks ago when many Lakers Fans were ready to ship out Andrew Bynum in order to get Dwight Howard. After the failed Chris Paul trade, many Lakers fans doubled down on a Bynum/Howard trade. They wanted that trade to happen no matter what.
To be fair, Dwight Howard is the best center in the NBA right now. And I will make the argument that Andrew Bynum is the second best center in the NBA. You might think I’m crazy, but think about it for a second. You know I’m right. And one thing to keep in mind, The Orlando magic are probably not going to trade Howard for Bynum straight up. They are going to want a lot for him. Probably more than the Lakers are willing to give up.
Plus, Drew has put together some very good games coming off his suspension. I know it’s a small sample set, but he looks good. Really good. This is the first time in his career that he is playing solid minutes and having the pressure to produce squarely on his shoulders. With Lamar Odom getting sent to the Dallas Mavericks, Drew has had to step up and to his credit, he has.
That is still not good enough for some. Soon after Drew’s first 20/20 game in his career against the Houston Rockets, many were tweeting, “How many 202/20 games does Dwight have?” Or they were bringing up all the games he has missed in his career. They were overlooking the obvious, though. Bynum is only now getting the minutes to have 20/20 games.
Up until now the Lakers have limited his minutes. Possibly because they were afraid he might get injured again. But now, without Odom on the team, Mike Brown has no choice but to play Bynum for heavy minutes. And I’m confident Drew will not let him (and us) down.
The Los Angeles Lakers reportedly have signed Mike Brown as their new Head Coach.
I first heard rumblings of this late last night and at first I was not too happy with the news. And neither were Laker Fans. The Twitterverse was filled with shock and angst. And I supplied my fair share of both.
But after a good night’s sleep (and several drinks) I have a new perspective on the hire. This could very well work out to be a good hire for the Lakers. Brown is a very good defense-minded coach and the Lakers need a serious overhaul on their defense. They had a hard time defending Chris Paul and the New Orleans Hornets and were completely exposed by the Dallas Mavericks.
So this may be exactly what the Lakers need. As long as he gets a little help on the offensive side. The Lakers have enough talent on offense that not even Mike Brown can screw it up. It’s like he has been handed the keys to a Maybach, all he has to do is not crash it.
And I don’t think he will crash it.
A quick look at his career will tell you that he is a capable coach. He may not be Phil Jackson, but who is? And to be honest, ANY coach is going to look like a step compared to Jackson.
Brown went 272-138 in five seasons with the Cavaliers, taking the team to the Eastern Conference finals twice and one trip to the NBA Finals in 2007. He was also named Coach of the Year in 2009. So the guy can coach. And he certainly has a better group of players in the Lakers than he did with the Cavs.
Of course we all know he was fired after LeBron James left Cleveland for Miami as a free agent last summer despite going 127-37 in his final two regular seasons with the Cavs.
So I say, let’s give Mike Brown a chance. It will be interesting to see if Brown can bring some intensity back to the Lakers’ defense.
The only question that remains is; What does Kobe think?