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Odom Still Not Amused

December 27, 2005|Mike Bresnahan | Times Staff Writer

WASHINGTON — Lamar Odom was still irritated a day later, using a scene from the mobster flick "GoodFellas" to describe his feelings about Gary Payton.

Odom and Payton sniped at each other throughout the second half of Sunday's Miami Heat victory, with Odom angry enough afterward to be pulled away from a possible confrontation with Payton near midcourt.

Odom, who used the phrase "extremely disrespectful" six times to describe Payton after the game, went with a Joe Pesci reference to get his point across Monday.

"He's a funny guy," Odom said, paraphrasing a "GoodFellas" moment in which Pesci, a mobster wanna-be, wanted to know why something he had said was so funny.

"Next time I'm not going to say anything [to him] because that was his fuel," Odom continued. "I don't want to see him have a good game. He won the game."

Payton had 21 points, including a three-point basket with 1:05 to play that put Miami ahead for good. Odom had 14 points and 16 rebounds, although he missed an open three-pointer with 41.9 seconds left.

Phil Jackson, who coached Payton on the Lakers in 2003-04 and witnessed his ways and means numerous times from the opposite bench, wasn't surprised by anything he saw Sunday.

"That's his modus operandi," Jackson said. "He likes the animosity of the game. You just have to ignore that. You can't fall prey to that."

Did Odom?

"I think he did," Jackson said. "He got a little heated at the end of the game."

Odom revealed he and Payton had a bit of a past -- "One time, while I was on the Clippers, he was just as disrespectful," he said -- but declined to elaborate.

"I respect him on the floor, [but] to respect him as a man comes first to me," Odom said.

Payton downplayed the chatter as "nothing," saying he was simply "having fun on the court."

As if Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal, and, to a lesser degree, Jackson and Pat Riley, won't generate enough story lines when the teams meet again Jan. 16 at Staples Center.

"I don't want to be a subplot," Odom said. "I just want to play basketball, be the cool dude that I am. That's more important to me than getting into it with Gary Payton, the Glove."


Guard Aaron McKie, who has sat out 14 games because of a torn tendon in his left quadriceps, joined the team Monday for the final leg of its three-game trip but is still a ways from suiting up.

Jackson said he hoped McKie would return by mid-January.

"We'll have him here for the playoffs and the rest of the year," Jackson said.

Playoffs? A fairly optimistic slip of the tongue in December?

"That's what you play the game for," Jackson said, smiling.


Jackson listed two final observations the day after the Miami game.

He was upset with the way the Heat crowd reacted toward Bryant with derisive late-game chants.

"He played a great game and they gave him, 'Kobe [stinks],' " Jackson said. "I thought that was poor sportsmanship."

Bryant had 37 points on 12-for-30 shooting against the Heat. He also had eight rebounds and six assists.

Jackson also discounted Riley's recent declaration that O'Neal needed to lose some weight.

"I don't know what Pat was talking about," Jackson said. "I think he looked good, especially in that [sleek] uniform."

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