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LETTERS

Passing on Odom Is Not Clippers' Fault

August 30, 2003

It was the best of Times, it was the worst of Times. Some guy named Dickens wrote that long ago, but he forgot to capitalize the name of the publication.

Tuesday's edition juxtaposed a sweet photo of Pete Sampras carrying his baby son on a final victory lap with two articles describing what an incredible jerk Lamar Odom is. Christian Sampras is too young to realize what a fortunate baby he is, having been born with great genes and a silver spoon in his mouth. And Odom is too dense and/or insensitive to realize what a fortunate adult he is, having been born with genes that enable him to make more than $10 million a year playing a kids' game when he's not on the Unable To Perform (Malingering) List.

We can all hope that Christian grows up to be a responsible, caring adult and a contributing member of society. The likelihood of Odom ever doing that seems very slim indeed.

Allen E. Kahn

Playa del Rey

*

I don't know if the Clippers will ever win an NBA championship, but they did one thing in the right direction: They got rid of that no-play, foot-draggin' druggie Odom. He will chill the Heat for a while.

Thomas Z. Taylor

Yucca Valley

*

For once the Clippers got it right. Investing in Lamar Odom is like investing in junk bonds: The returns will be negative.

By this time next year Odom is going to have two initials preceding his name. C.K. (Coach Killer) Odom will have Pat Riley in the unemployment line, a la Alvin Gentry.

Not that Riley doesn't deserve it. His personnel moves parallel those of Rick Pitino. He changes his roster every year, but the end result is the same. Remember Riles, Odom is the anti-Magic, Kareem and Patrick Ewing. Those three turned you into a star coach, Odom will turn you into a subpar coach.

Willis Barton

Los Angeles

*

I'm glad Lamar Odom is gone. Even on those rare occasions when he actually made it on the court, his attitude was poor.

However, the Clippers needed to sign him. They needed to sign him because they let Michael Olowokandi go. The front line of Olowokandi, Odom, and Elton Brand (and Darius Miles) was an intimidating defensive unit. Now, the only one left is the undersized Brand. The Clippers gave up the length and size that was the catalyst for all of their potential. Oh, and let's not forget they let sharpshooter Eric Piatkowski go. It wasn't as if they couldn't afford him.

I hope this is all part of some master plot cooked up by Mike Dunleavy and Elgin Baylor that I'm too naive to see. Otherwise, it's back to the lottery.

Todd Hoskins

Costa Mesa

*

The Clippers have nothing to show for Olowokandi (a No. 1 overall pick), Odom (No. 4) and Miles (No. 3). Poof, all gone -- just like that. Clipper management, have you ever heard the expression "sign and trade?" Now we need three consecutive horrible seasons to amass three more top-of-the-lottery draft picks to start the process all over again.

A prophetic note from ESPN's draft-day analysis in 1999: "Lamar Odom is the type of talent who could turn into an NBA superstar. Of course, he's also the type of head case who could become a total bust at the next level. Given the Clips' draft history, the odds are firmly stacked against this kid."

Kenji Thielstrom

Studio City

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