Mr. Unsung

As the NBA’s regular season comes to a close this week, it’s about that time to hand out the awards.  I want to start ‘at the back.’  The most appreciated man out of the most underappreciated men.  You can only have 5 basketball players from one team on the court at a specific time, so who’s the top dog in the league of 32 teams who isn’t one of the ‘first five.’  Who is the sixth man of the year?  After seeing his picture you know who I’m talking about, but act like you didn’t see it.  Act like we we’re playing a guessing game and you tried to come up with the player who fits these qualifications.  This player in the ‘Association’ averages more rebounds per game than Amare Stoudemire while posting nearly the same points per game as Kevin Garnett?  He has a better field goal percentage than Dirk, LeBron, Boozer, and Tim Duncan while averaging more assists per contest than Carmelo Anthony or Gerald Wallace.  And, unlike all these players, he’s never been an All-Star and doesn’t start for his NBA team.  Of course I’m talking about none other than the ‘candy man’ himself, Lamar Odom.  My man is tied for the most games played in the league this year, because he hasn’t missed a single game, for just the second time in his 11-year career.  L.O. is also averaging the least amount of turnovers in that same 11-year stretch (1.7).  Add all these factors together and you’re left with the best player in the NBA coming off the bench.  My college basketball coach used to say there’s three things that a championship team must have.  The first is natural talent with the willingness to do whatever it takes to win.  The second is that the last player on your bench needs to work as hard, every day, as the best player on that team and remain as committed to the team concept.  And thirdly, your sixth man has to have the ability to start on nearly every other team in the league.  If that third component was a dictionary definition, there would have to be a picture of Lamar Odom.  When he first came into the league out of the University of Rhode Island with the fourth pick to the Clippers, there were countless experts who predicted that this was a guy that would be an elite NBA player.  A 6-10 athlete who can handle the rock, run the court and shoot from 3-point range has an unmeasurable upside.  After all, in his first NBA game dude had 30 points and 12 rebounds.  But over the years Odom showed that he wasn’t wired to be a super star and would never be the best player on a legit contender.  And though L.O. has never had a season where he didn’t average double figures, we lowered our expectations of him.  And believe it or not, that may have been what he needed.  With Lamar, it seems that the less pressure he has, the better.  It’s no wonder that he’s having one of his best NBA seasons the same year that he’s started his second fewest games ever.  Measure him up to the other sixth man of the year candidates and it’s not even close.  On ESPN.com a poll was held asking all ESPN basketball representatives to cast a vote for the best player off the pine this season.  32 of those 35 votes had Lamar Odom’s name on them.  One of the votes should count as a ‘hanging chad’ because it was cast by Bruce Bowen (former Spur) in favor of George Hill (Current Spur).  The other 2 non-Odom votes went to Glen ‘Big Baby’ Davis.  How?  I’m not even sure.  The ‘Baby’ averages less points, about 30% less rebounds, less than half Odom’s assists and not even half of  Odom’s blocks.  Mind you that’s also on a team in a weaker Eastern Conference that doesn’t have the team record of Odom’s Lakers.  This past week on the premier of the new show on E!, ‘Khloe and Lamar’ (Which was highly entertaining), it was made public just how dissapointed Odom was when he wasn’t selected as an All-Star.  Dude was clearly heartbroken.  Well whatever pain he felt in being snubbed, it will surely have to be multiplied in positivity when he is presented the sixth man of the year award.  You see, every team needs a sixth man.  Every successful team needs a very good one.  But a championship team…a championship team needs a Lamar Odom.  Here’s your due.

Oh, and if your wondering why I called Lamar Odom ‘The Candy Man’, check out this video.  This dude is an addict…for Gluclose.

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2 Responses to Mr. Unsung

  1. Stevie Jo says:

    I know Odoms dad is a addict, so im wondering if Lamar snorts the suger packets in his Fun Dip

  2. Anonymous says:

    Excellent article. LO should win in a landslide. I also thought he or Aldridge should have got in the AllStar game but the field was just so stacked this year in the West.

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