The Lakers began the process of wrapping up the '09-'10 season this afternoon in El Segundo with the first day of exit interviews. To say the least, this year's final meeting with the coaching staff and media was different for Lamar Odom than last season's, when Odom was entering a summer of free agency.
This time around, a very relaxed, very tired Odom was free to spend most of his time talking about the satisfaction of winning another title, reflecting on this season and the growth process getting him here. There was also talk of summer plans- he reiterated intentions to play for the United States in the World Championships this summer- and his health, specifically the state of his left shoulder. Currently, Odom doesn't anticipate this well-worn joint ("It's my left shoulder," the left-dominant Odom joked. "It's been through a lot.) requiring offseason surgery can't rule it out until he goes through a series of postseason MRI exams and consultations.
Those will take place when he gets back from a little R and R in Puerta Vallarta with his family.
More choice quotes, plus the video, below...
On his desire to play more small forward next season: "I’m going to work on my quickness, tell the coaches on this team I want to play a little more small forward… Just our team, and when I think about the triangle offense and I think about size, and I think about ballhandling, and some of the teams that coach was able to throw out there. I think about us posting up, and using the ability to post up to kind of slow teams down. How our defense is predicated so much on our offense, I think I could really help this team [at small forward]. If we could go to a big lineup, if that could be one of the lineups we go to. Slow the game down, make it real methodical. I’ll work on my quickness and my footspeed a lot more this summer, so we don’t lose that.”
On offseason goals: “What I really want to work on is my ability to be a consistent shooter. Especially with this team, we’re talking about posting the basketball and playing these big lineups, people have to double team us. I didn’t shoot the ball the way I wanted to this year. In the beginning, I was really streaky. I think there was one part of the season where I was consistent, and then just kind of fell off. The way we match up with teams, so big and versatile, if we can all shoot the ball and hit open shots and be consistent from the stand-still and off the dribble, and the free throw line [we’ll be very good.]”
On being motivated by failure: "I can remember the game we lost in Boston, and the opportunity to be able to get back the year after winning it, then having the opportunity to play Boston, the feeling is amazing. But when you lose it hurts ten times as much as it feels good to win.”
On an exhausting season: “I’m tired, man. You know? I got married on front of the reality world- whoever’s into reality TV. Was married, came to training camp the next day, and played in 114 games. Every chance I get I just doze off… I can’t help it. I’ll fall asleep right here, right in front of you guys right now. I could fall asleep no problem. Forget the physical part, but mentally I’m tired.”
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