Lamar Odom, At Last

LOS ANGELES – In both accurate assessment and understatement, Lamar Odom said the individual recognition, any individual recognition, has been long in coming. Correct. It has been a long time. As in forever.

Until Tuesday, when the Lakers forward was announced as the landslide winner of Sixth Man of the Year, one of the league’s most versatile, unique unusual and most skilled players had never been singled out for official praise. Through all the important roles on very successful teams, Odom had never won an award or made an All-Star team.

So the honor had special significance even for someone who has reached the ultimate heights of championships, the last two seasons with the Lakers and in summer 2010 with Team USA at the world championships. Odom did not take being named the top reserve for granted. If anything, he was deeply touched by the moment, choking up with emotion in his acceptance speech at a hotel ballroom in Los Angeles as he appeared to reference family members he has lost through the years, including an infant son.

This is no ordinary player, and this was no ordinary trophy presentation.

“It’s been a long time coming,” Odom said. “I just kept at it, you know what I’m saying. I’ve learned so much from the dudes in my locker room, Derek (Fisher) and Kobe (Bryant). At the end of the day, I’m blessed. Just being around you guys, playing with so many great kinds of players. Pau (Gasol) and Shannon (Brown). I’m looking at ya’ll. You’re my boys, man. There’s a couple people that I wish that were here to see it, you know.”

He had to stop.

“Basketball has given me everything I love,” he said a few minutes later, asked to expand on the wave of emotions. “It’s taken me so many different places, brought me across so many different people, that I’m just blessed at the opportunity to be with the guys I’m, playing with the organization I play for, living in the city that I live. At the end of the day, I’m doing what I love to do.”

Odom, the first Laker to win Sixth Man, received 513 of a possible 585 points and 96 of the possible 117 first-place votes from a panel of 117 writers and broadcasters who cover the NBA in the United States and Canada. Jason Terry of the Mavericks was second with 244 points and Thaddeus Young of the 76ers was third with 76.

“There was a point in my career where people called me an underachiever,” Odom said. “I think winning an award like this is kind of right at those people that were ready to call me an underachiever. There’s still some goals I want to set. I would love to play in the All-Star game. I feel like I can keep getting better and better, and I guess the better I get, the more I can help this team continue to win.”

41 Comments

  1. CONGRADS to L.O. To me, it is amazing how you have the 6th man of the year and still he is the 4 or 5th option on offense. It just shows he does so much more than score. That’s the reason I think he got it over everyone else. I mean Jason Terry can shoot but you have Kidd there who runs the offense mostly. Harden did well, but not really until after the All-Star break. L.O. has been consistent ALL year after KB, L.O has been the most consistent for sure! Hence, that’s why he won! Hey, don’t get me wrong Terry and Harden are both good players and everything but from the start of the season L.O just had a better overall year.

  2. Charlie Boy1 says:

    Congrads to LO. He played Game 3 like he appreciated the award. AWESOME! No one in there right mind can hate on Lamar. Even the Lakers Haters kept their month off of LO. A lot of Respect for the man.

  3. Felipe says:

    Ohh man, you can’t be happier for someone like Lamar to win this award he deserves so much more.

    I’m so happy for him he should be an all star this year and maybe before, being 6th in LA (by a strategic desition) not by playing talent is like being 1st or 2nd or 3rd best in many other teams.

    What i like the most about lamar is that he is so humble and down to earth i wish that would rub off to the whole NBA.

  4. Paul Jones says:

    It’s good that Lamar won it. He’s made a whole impact this year.

    But, he won’t make an all-star team any time soon. He can still do so much more than he’s actually doing. He can easily be a 18-12-5 guy.

  5. D_Mula310 says:

    A bunch of haters especially mentioning Terry and Wow Harden… damn I wouldnt even mention Harden in the same conversation as LO. you guys are crazy. Of course he deserves it. You must be blind to say he doesn’t. He won two championships with the Lakers. He should have taken duncans spot or griffin not to mention love spot. I was disappointed when he was not picked as an allstar. He does so much for the Lakers that if he wasnt on the team i don’t think the lakers would not be able to 3 peat this year. Go Lakers 3 peat coming soon. stay tuned…

  6. protostatic says:

    He shouldn’t be a sixth man in the first place. HE IS A STARTER.

  7. JMN207 says:

    I honestly hate the Lakers, absolutely hate everybody on the team….Except for Lamar. Congrats on this award, He deserves so much more credit than what he is given. In my opinio, I think He should be playing over Pau. Gasol is weak and unaggressive Lamar would provide so much more for the team, (well I guess I don’t want him starting then) Maybe once Kobe and Derek are gone I can enjoy the lakers again! I also agree that James Harden should have at least been IN THE DISCUSSION, for a team that finally has all the pieces in place for a legitimate championship run, James Harden has been key off the bench since the all-star break

  8. Hawk says:

    I agree Lamar Odom is a great player but he started 43% of the games, should he even be counted as a 6th man? but still even with that i believe Jason Terry should get it for 3 reasons.
    1. He has more points per game than Odom does
    2. He plays less minutes a game than Odom does
    3. He started only 10 games while Odom started 35 games, personally making me think he shouldent be a 6th man.

  9. Hector says:

    Lamar odom not going to lie he does his part on the court…..

  10. anj says:

    Lamar is a joy to watch on and off the court as well.
    Congratulations!

  11. moneyball says:

    Lamar should be an all-star because everybody knows he can start on almost all the NBA teams.
    I personally believe he should be starting artest right now.

  12. moneyball says:

    Lamar should be an all-star because everybody knows he can start on almost all the NBA teams.
    I personaly believe he should be starting artest right now.

  13. Philip says:

    Lamar Odom is definitely underrated. He’d be a starter on most other teams, on the Lakers too. The only reason he doesn’t start is because Lakers want Bynum’s length in the post. The fact that he doesn’t start kind of overshadows how good he really is, he definitely qualifies as an All-Star.

    The criteria for sixth man is you have to come off the bench more than you start. So under that criteria Lamar Odom completely qualifies. There’s nothing wrong about it. Even he started 41 games, he’d still qualify. That’s the rule, if people don’t like it complain about that. Be he deserves this award and got it fair and square.

    • fan says:

      there is a reason why lamar fits into 6th. LO can play both s/p foward, a center against small team, and has ball handling skill like a guard. he can sub in for ron, pau or bynum if they get into foul trouble early.
      can ron play as power foward? not really against an average size team. can ron play center? not at all. so ron can only sub in for 2 or 3.
      i dont even know how terrible pau is as a center, and i will quit watching the game if he plays sf. so he can only sub in for 4 or 5.
      bynum will always play the center bcause he is the strongest and can guard any center in the league.

      LO is a VERY gifted guy, he can play 3-4-5 and even switch with kobe and let kobe play like a forward during transition offense. so unless the a team really need LO to play a position, 6th man is BEST for him.

  14. JDOG says:

    Lamar Odom should have won this award about three times. He’s as been one of the most effecient 6th men for a long period of time. He plays well in crunch time and can play the post, handle the ball, abd shoot threes. Without Lamar, the Lakers wouldn’t have won the last two titles. Hats off!!!!!!!!!

  15. LakersWillWin says:

    Odom is one of the greatest basketball players EVER. Yeah, I said it. 6’10″ who can plays PF… PG and C, there is no one like him.I wish I could meet Lamar, he seems like such a great guy despite everything he has been through. Lamar is one of my favorite players of all time, and that’s a high thing to say with all the greats to have ever entered and been through the NBA. Congratz LO, you’ve finally been recognized man! Team USA wouldn’t have won without you, and the Lakers surely wouldn’t be as good as they are without your presence.

  16. Paul Stone says:

    Lamar you wouldn’t have received the 6th man had you not been on the Lakers team because you would be a starter and all star on ant other team in the NBA. You deserve the honor, now care the Hornets.

    • OKCKD35 says:

      Lamar was basically a starter with all the injuries, he started 35 games for the Lakers this year 42% of their games. i do agree he deserves the award this year, i just dont think it should have been a runaway like it was, Just to throw this out there but do all of the awards seem funky this year? i think Kia is ruining the NBA, Sold out the dunk contest for a commercial (everyone saw Ibaka, Mcgee, and Derozan were jamming better than Blake the Fake, how does jumping over (the hood of) a car get you a 50 when dunking from BEHIND the free throw line gets you a 45? DPOY was a runaway, 6th man was a runaway, MVP will be a runaway. I do not remember such a season that one person was clerly the favorite for everything. at the same time the awards given are justified, just dont understand why everything is a runaway so i figured i’d blame KIA

  17. Mike says:

    Lamar is basically a starter & Jet deserved to win it again. Better points with less minutes.

    • OKCKD35 says:

      For the Record James Harden has a better efficiency rating10.00 than either Lamar 8.00 or the Jet 7.00 even though Lamar gets 33mpg and the Jet gets 32mpg where harden gets about 26mpg and lead the nba in scoring from the bench for the second half of the season, mark my words, James Harden will score more than any bench player in the league next year now that he is finally getting some of those minutes that were occupied by Jeff Green

  18. Tenki says:

    Even when Odom was still with Miami, I was pretty sure that he would have a great career ahead of him, and he got the chance when he was traded to a rebuilding Lakers team. Since then his game really flourished as a point forward akin to Pippen, albeit the height. He is also a great defender and rebounder, and he can play virtually five positions. I also see him as a warrior who loves the game, playing hurt, even injured and not complain about it. Congratulations Lamar Odom, I tip my hat to you. You are truly one of the most deserving players to gain recognition around the league.

  19. keykey vanderweigh says:

    lamar odom,is the 2nd best player in lakers in the lineup..keep it up… join the bulls in the finals.. Haha … (Go Bulls)

  20. lakerfan philippines says:

    LO really deserved this award, and this could have been given to him much earlier in his la career..

  21. Kita Mac says:

    Im happy for Lamar…part of being a sixt man is being able to come in when a starter is hurt or not available….I feel he has done his role to the fullest. Congrats to Lamar….hopefully next year he can get voted on the allstar team..smile

  22. George says:

    Congradulations Lamar. You definitely deserved this man :)

  23. NTY says:

    You do not to be named an All-Star to be a distinguished player. With or withought all-star berths, Lamar Odom is a great player.

  24. Ishy says:

    Yes, you deserve it Lamar, go and show them what you have during the the Playoff. Wish you the best of luck.

  25. N-Dog says:

    Best part about that was seeing his team right there supporting him.

  26. LA4Life says:

    At last there is some love for LO! Where were all the people when it came to All-Star voting? LO should have been chosen over Griffin (or Duncan)! Lamar Odom is awesome! It gives me creeps even to think about what could have happened to the Lakers in November (without Andrew Bynum) if LO hadn’t been on the team’s roster! Lamar has been through some really tough times throughout his amazing career. He is the only one in the NBA who truly deserves this Award. “Amazing” and “Exceptional” are the words that come to mind whenever Lamar’s name comes up. Congrats, Lamar! This is your season! Great job!

    • Mike says:

      LA4life, I agree with u about LO should have made the All-star team. But not over Griffin or Duncan. Maybe just a lil bit over Duncan, but since the West had no camter and it could probably be his last AS game. Griffin was just too sensational. I would have chosen LO over Love. No disrespect to Love n I like him a lot too, but I think he will have his fair share of All-stars in the future. And LO is already 30 something. They should have picked him.

  27. cris says:

    yesssssssssssssssssssssssssssss odom, now go and have a big game 2 which i know you will

  28. Gary says:

    I’m happy for Odom because he’s been an underrated player his whole career. Plus he’s had to battle some personal issue. I hope he gets into at least one all-star game before he retires.

  29. Aussielakerfan says:

    oh yeeeeeeeah ya won by heaps :D

  30. coolcat11 says:

    I am so happy for lamar! He deserves this. And i still can’t believe he hasn’t yet played in an all star game. He’s the most versatile player i know. He can shoot, rebound, defend! What can you ask more. I used to call him Mr. inconsistent in his early years in LA, but man, He improved every year!!! And what’s so scary for other teams is that he is not yet on top of his game, he can still improve. He’s certainly my second favorite player in my favorite team. If i am the gm of the lakers, i would never trade this guy, even if its, lets say, with Nowitzki,i’m serious! No offense to dallas fans out there. :)

  31. Enrique says:

    Awesome player, incredible character (which so many players these days don’t have). He deserved this, He deserved to be an all star (in my mind is). He should be proud of himself and I hope he starts getting the credit he deserves. The Lakers would not be the team with two championships if it were not for him. He is the ultimate TEAM player. Congrats LO

  32. Fan says:

    Lamar Odom is so deserving of this award. My biggest question is why was he not named as an all star? I’m a huge Laker fan and Lamar Odom is one of my favorites. I don’t ever think I’ve seen a more versatile player! With the exception of Magic Johnson! We all know the contributions of Kobe, Pau, Andrew, and Derek. When Lamar is at the top of his game; he elevates the Lakers above every team in the league! Oh, and I’d like to add Ron Artest in the mix as well.Go Lakers! I hope the role players and the bench can step up in game 2!

    • prix says:

      Lamar deserves to win it…I don’t think Terry could win it again…maybe next game L.A should go to Lamar instead of Kobe if the game is to close maybe they have a chance to win…Kobe failed in game 1 and maybe Lamar would step up in game 2.. hope this L.A fakers dont use my name.. that’s why I don’t like cheaters like the lakers same as with L.A fans

    • OKCKD35 says:

      I guess i’m the only one going the other route on this one, dont get me wrong Lamar is a good versatile player, i think that the process was a little unfair this year as Lamar started well over 30 games, meaning for about half the season he wasnt a 6th man, he has the minutes of a starter 32mpg. He is deserving of the award dont get me wrong, but i think they need to take in to account how much time people are actually on the floor and how many games they were a 6th man. I know i am a little biased but how was James Harden not even in the conversation, since the allstar break noone has scored more off the bench than Harden, at least give him some love in the conversation lol. Good job Lamar, i do appreciate your professionalism as a pro athlete, you are turly one of the good personalities in the NBA. No haterism here, just trying to campaign for my boy for next year!

      • Josh says:

        As long as you came off bench more games than you started you are eligible. In 07-08 Ginobili had like 32 mpg also and won. I remember thinking they rigged it that way so he could win, because dude was on the bench like 2 mins then played rest of the game pretty much. So yeah the stats are slightly skewed from having games he started but his numbers in games he came off the bench were still very good, I believe in one of the articles they separated them. He averaged like 12pts 8rebounds in games off bench I believe.