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Odom isn't happy with his boxing performance

Denver's Kenyon Martin slips in for a tip-in with 11 seconds left, the second such late play Odom has allowed this year, and his frustration with himself shows.

April 04, 2011|Mike Bresnahan

The basketball was launched 60 feet, landed on a TV camera atop the basket, and bounced hard toward the crowd, but Lamar Odom was still upset.

He failed to box out Kenyon Martin, allowing the Denver Nuggets' forward to slip in for a tip-in with 11 seconds left in the Lakers' 95-90 loss Sunday.

"That's twice this year," Odom muttered to a reporter as he ambled across the locker room 30 minutes later.

Indeed, Odom allowed San Antonio forward Antonio McDyess to score with a similarly late tip-in two months ago. The Spurs mobbed McDyess, celebrating perhaps their biggest victory this season.

The only action on the court after Sunday's game was Odom slinging the ball in frustration from one end to the other. Odom was mad at himself. He also hoped to get some help from Ron Artest, who was on the other side of Martin.

"Me and Ron have been playing basketball all our life and we didn't communicate on that last free throw," Odom said. "We were supposed to squeeze [Martin], know what I'm saying?"

Said Artest: "I guess [Martin] punked us. Or he cheated. One or the other."

Lakers Coach Phil Jackson said Martin illegally shoved Odom in the back to get to the ball.

Don't mess with Tex

Jackson has campaigned to get Tex Winter into the Basketball Hall of Fame for too many years to count.

So it seemed unusual for Jackson to be tight-lipped about news of Winter's acceptance.

"Great," Jackson said flatly.

He was annoyed.

It had nothing to do with Winter. It just took too long to make it happen.

"For the past 15 years, there have been people telling me that Tex is going in the Hall of Fame," Jackson said. "When Tex was verbally and cognizantly capable of receiving this award, I would have been much happier. The fact now that he's had a stroke that's impaired his capabilities, it kind of irritates me a little bit that this wasn't done 10 years ago when he was still serving basketball in such a great capacity."

Jackson then added, "Still in all, I'm happy that it's been rewarded."

Winter, 89, suffered a stroke in April 2009 while attending a basketball reunion in Manhattan, Kan.

He has trouble speaking, but before the stroke, he loved telling people he enjoyed 63 years of earning a basketball-related paycheck. He started out at Huntington Park High and then USC before taking his first coaching job as an assistant at Kansas State after World War II.

Winter was part of Jackson's staff for six championship runs with Chicago in the 1990s and three with the Lakers in the early 2000s. Winter then became a part-time consultant with the Lakers after the 2003-04 season and was forced to step back from his duties after sustaining the stroke.

The official Hall of Fame announcement will be Monday in Houston before the NCAA championship game. The induction ceremony will be Aug. 12.

Jackson credited Winter with providing the triangle offense Jackson employed while winning 11 NBA championships as a coach.

He also admired Winter's penchant to tell the truth, sometimes in scathing but constructive fashion.

In Winter's eyes, Michael Jordan sometimes didn't pass the ball to the right place, Shaquille O'Neal didn't accept enough coaching and Kobe Bryant sometimes handled the ball too long.

"Every star that I've ever had on a team -- except Scottie Pippen, basically -- he had trouble with parts of their game," Jackson said.

Bryant has acknowledged that Winter often spoke his mind but still lavishly complimented him Sunday.

"It's about time," he said. "I'm beyond happy for him."

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mike.bresnahan@latimes.com

twitter.com/Mike_Bresnahan

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