Barkley: Lamar Odom's pay 'a joke'

DALLAS -- The only explanation Charles Barkley can come up with for Lamar Odom's short stint in Dallas is the 13-year veteran never got over his divorce with the Lakers. But it disgusts Barkley the Mavericks are on the hook for the remainder of Odom's salary.

"I always pull for the players, but the fact that they've got to pay him, I think is a joke," Barkley said during his Wednesday appearance on ESPN Dallas 103.3's Galloway & Co. "I mean, because he didn't earn his salary. He didn't earn it at all.

"I like Lamar as a person, but I'm disappointed about everything that happened in Dallas. And it's a shame that the Mavs got to pay him, to be honest with you, because he doesn't deserve to get paid for what he put out there this year. He doesn't deserve it, plain and simple."

The Mavs finally had enough of Odom's sulking, lack of effort and habitual tardiness and banished him from the team Sunday, less than 24 hours after a heated halftime confrontation where owner Mark Cuban questioned Odom's commitment.

Cuban was asked Thursday if he could pursue avenues to not pay Odom the remainder of his salary.

"I could, but I'm not going to," Cuban said. "There's all kinds of things I could do, but I'm not going to."

Odom presumably will return to Los Angeles. Odom, who averaged career lows in almost every category, will make almost $1 million the rest of the season and is due a $2.4 million buyout payment in June.

"To sit at home and make that kind of money really pisses me off, to be honest with you, for the effort that he put out there," Barkley said. "He's going to make hundreds of thousands of dollars these next two paychecks. ... That's not fair to the Mavs. It's not fair to the game of basketball.

"I'm just disappointed in Lamar."

Jeff Caplan of ESPNDallas.com contributed to this report.