Thursday, July 30, 2009

Odom Makes A 360 Degree Turn Around...w/ the Lakers

This Candy Land game is finally over. And both the Lakers and Lamar Odom have won. The Losers: everyone else.

Lakers Accelerate. Credit goes to Silo360 for accelerating the 09/010 Lakers hype.


Lamar Odom will return to the Los Angeles Lakers, according to an NBA source.

Odom will sign a four-year contract, with the fourth year at the Lakers' option.

One source with knowledge of the talks told the four-year deal is worth $33 million if the Lakers exercise the final year of the contract.

Hi, my name is Lamar. I like candy. And championships.

And candy championships.

Details of the final negotiation process (what we know so far):

* The current deal as constructed will offer Odom about $8 mill a year for the first 3 years - a guaranteed $25mill. If the Lakers choose to excercise Odom's 4th year option, they will pay him about $8 mill extra. If they choose not to retain him, they will have to pay him a $2mill buy-out.

* Contrary to popular belief that Odom was merely using Miami as leverage to get a better deal, Odom was actually very, very close to signing with the Heat. A lot of 'Heat'-ed emotion was involved in his final decision making process - emotion and pride that he admirably doused in order to remain loyal to the organization that never once traded him during its tumultuous years in the past - an organization that he now has the best chance of winning another ring with.

* As Korean dramatic as Dwayne Wade got on Twitter, neither he nor Pat Riley nor any shady candy trucks met with Lamar Odom at all.

* The Portland Trail Blazers stepped in at the last minute on Tuesday night and supposedly offered L.O. a 5 yr/$40 million contract. Odom, however, had no interest whatsoever to blaze any trails up in Portland. [Update:] ESPN is revising this story and pulling Portland completely out of the picture. Portland didn't even blaze any trails for Lamar...

* Ron Artest was the biggest reason Lamar Odom kept pushing to stay (He wanted to win one for Ron):

"But to now get an opportunity to play with Ron Artest, a guy I've known 16 years, it means a lot. I told Ron Ron a few weeks ago I couldn't walk away. I still had to fight. Everytime negotiations didn't go the way I thought, I just took a step back, like them pulling the offer off the table, I just knew I had to fight."

Makes you wonder if Odom would have been as torn if it was Trevor Ariza and not his old-time buddy Ron in the purple and gold instead. In this case, the decision to sign Ron Artest over Trevor Ariza, if there were any doubts before, now looks like the best executive choice that could have been made at the time because of its two-fold implications in keeping 'sugar in the cupboard'- so to speak.

* Jeff Schwartz did not disrespect the Lakers organization or ignore them. In fact, he advised Odom to take a look at the previous deals being offered. And after the Lakers pulled the offers from the table, it was Schwartz who told Odom to take his time and not pull a knee-jerk reaction by immediately signing with the Heat. In the end, everyone has their fair share of the blame and innocence when it comes to who pushed who's buttons.

* Jerry Buss did not pull his original offers of 4/$36mill and 3/$10mill purely because he felt disrespected, but because the NBA's salary cap had lowered and because he was merely playing a shrewd card in further negotiations. Lamar Odom seems to have come to this understanding as well, refusing to take things too personally.

* Dr. Buss got cold feet about the luxury tax he'll pay, told Mitch to explore other options. Phil, back from Montana, warmed them up to the notion of the Lakers becoming UNSTOPPABLE with Odom. Rest is history. Via Ric Bucher's Twitter.

* The Lakers, injuries barred, look like an NBA Dynasty that's primed to move past the Celtics' title count.

“Riding off Kobe’s coattail ain’t bad,” Odom said, laughing. “He’s got something special going around. I’ve got to be around. I’ve got to be one of the apostles. There was no way I was going to pass up playing with Kobe, Pau, Andrew and Ron-Ron.”

WTF? Kobe's pissed he only has 4 all-stars on his team.

Odom's 360 degree turn-around, deal:

We're going to have a 360 degree turn-around this year. I'm just happy to be a...Laker.

I just had to take a jab at LO's awkwardly-cute spaciness. This interview was taken during his Clipper days. I think he meant to say "180 degree turnaround" because a full 360 turn-around leads you right back to where you were in the first place - which for the Clippers at that time (and many a time) led straight back to Suckville. This summer, however, Odom's 360 degree turnaround tendencies factor out just perfectly for the Lakers and their future plans.

At long last, we can all finally breathe a large sigh of relief and bust out those red vines and Hi-chews in sugar-rushed celebration (though it's probably best for Odom to stay away from any candy that has the word 'Hi'/'High' in it).
At this point, I don't know whether to strangle him or to hug him. All I know is - I'm smiling. A smiling strangle should do. FRICKEN' ODOM!! WELCOME BACK!

Now, a deep, profound statement from Lamar:

- via Twitter/RealLamarOdom

Count the number of A's he put into his 'Back' and that should give you a good estimate of how many championships he expects to win with the Lakers in the near future. Back that thing up.

The Fridge is stacked with sugar-foods,
Jonathan Hernandez (Chick's Fridge)

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