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Pro Basketball | CLIPPER REPORT

Odom Misses Bus, Is on Bench for Tipoff

January 12, 2002|Elliott Teaford

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Clipper forward Lamar Odom was benched for all but 3:04 of the first quarter because he missed the team bus to the Charlotte Coliseum on Friday. He took a taxi to the arena from the team's hotel.

Odom was a bit sheepish about the whole affair after the Clippers lost in overtime to the Charlotte Hornets, 92-91.

"It's a team rule," he said. "Coach [Alvin Gentry] decided to bring me in off the bench. I have no excuse. Rules are rules. It's no big deal. I'm a man. I can face the punishment."

Odom served an eight-game suspension earlier this season for violating terms of the NBA's antidrug policy. He also sat out three games because of a sprained right wrist.

Gentry also sat Odom for the start of the second half Friday. Odom had 22 points, six rebounds and five assists in 37 minutes against the Hornets.

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The Clippers were without swingman Corey Maggette, who sat out because of a strained right knee. Despite various nagging injuries, Maggette had played all 36 games before Friday. His status for Sunday's game against the Toronto Raptors was uncertain.

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Elliott Teaford

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