The Lakers cruised to a 16-point victory over the Mavericks on Wednesday night, but something gives me the impression Kobe Bryant actually felt badly for a player on the losing side. Kobe is arguably the fiercest competitor in the league, but it is no secret he and Lamar Odom are close friends. It is also no secret that Odom is unhappy in Dallas and is currently an awkward fit. After the game, Bryant expressed sympathy for Odom but insisted he’s glad Lamar hasn’t been performing well.
“It’s tough,” Bryant said according to the Dallas Morning News. “He comes to a team that’s pretty much set, know what I mean? So it’s hard for him to find his niche. And the fans, they don’t really understand what he does or how he can do it.
“I hope they (the Mavericks) don’t unlock that mystery. I know. I know how to use his skill set and this, that and the other. But this team, the roster that they have, being pretty much set, it’s tough for him to find his groove here. I’m pleasantly surprised. It’s tough. Like I said, they have their niche, they have what they run, they have what they execute, they have their group of core guys and Lamar is not just a player you plug in. You feature him. We featured him, in terms of his ball-handling and post-up ability and things like that.”
Kobe also added that it is “just stupidity” that Mavs fans have been booing Odom. If Kobe is right and Dallas simply hasn’t figured out how to use Odom, he may be a poor fit and unable to help their team. If the reason Odom hasn’t been performing is because he is still upset with the Lakers, it’s time to move on. If this funk is going to be permanent now that he’s out of Los Angeles, maybe Odom needs to think about retiring.Google+