The All-Star reserves were announced Thursday afternoon and while news broke that Kobe Bryant will be joined by two more Los Angeles players, Pau Gasol and Blake Griffin, when Staples Center hosts the exhibition on Feb. 20, Lakers fans will tell you there was someone missing.
Lakers forward Lamar Odom was left off the list of seven reserves despite averaging 15.4 points on 56.6 percent shooting (sixth best in the league) and 9.6 rebounds (eighth best) along with 2.9 assists in this, his 12th season in the league.
Odom's last hope of playing in the midseason classic is NBA commissioner David Stern naming Odom as the injury replacement for Houston center Yao Ming, who was voted in as a starter despite being out for the season with an ankle injury.
Odom faces stiff competition for the final spot with young guns like Minnesota's Kevin Love, Golden State's Monta Ellis, Portland's LaMarcus Aldridge as well as veterans like San Antonio's Tony Parker and Phoenix's Steve Nash, but the 6-10 lefty has three things going for him:
1. His service to USA Basketball during the summer, when he served as a co-captain and a key veteran presence on the FIBA World Championship gold-medal winning team in Turkey, was appreciated by the whole league.
2. The fact that he's a veteran and has yet to make the All-Star team in his career that's spanned more than a decade.
3. The location of the game being in L.A.
There is no timetable set for when Stern will name Yao's replacement, according to the league.
Odom spoke about the All-Star field after the Lakers' shootaround Thursday, prior to the reserves being announced.
"I think I would have been an All-Star [if I started all year]," Odom said. "But I understand the way it went. My job is my job to do [for the Lakers]. But I was playing in that mode with confidence, shot making, rebounding."
Odom was asked if it would hurt if he did not end up on the final roster.
"A little bit," Odom said. "You can't help it, being so close. It's like being called out at the plate. You hustled, you came home all the way from first, coming around that corner and you look like you were safe and then you just came up a little short."
Odom said he doesn't make it, he will get away from Los Angeles for the weekend and travel to some place like Cabo or Laguna Beach.
"I would go away," Odom said. "Somewhere I could just relax and turn the phone off."
Dave McMenamin covers the Lakers for ESPNLosAngeles.com. Follow him on Twitter.