Sweat dripped off Lamar Odom's bald head after he finished an extra workout following the Clippers' practice Tuesday.
Odom stood in a doorway leading into the players' lounge and for a few seconds pondered how he felt about facing the Mavericks on Wednesday night at Staples Center for the first time since Dallas sent him home last April before the regular season was over.
"It's just another game," Odom finally said.
But it wasn't just another season for Odom in Dallas.
He was traded by the Lakers to the Mavericks last December, a trade that left Odom disillusioned with the Lakers, a team he had won two NBA championships with and the NBA's sixth man of the year award in 2011.
Odom proceeded to have the worst season of his career, averaging career-lows in points (6.6) and rebounds (4.2) in Dallas.
When asked after practice whether he had any emotions about playing Dallas, Odom said, "Naw."
"It was a blur, man," Odom replied. "I wasn't there either, like mentally."
"The people are nice," Odom said of Dallas. "Great fans.
"Sometimes we make pit stops in some places. I remember the people and the city. Basketball just wasn't there for me at that time."
Odom said he even doesn't have any hard feelings toward Dallas owner Mark Cuban, who called out Odom several times before sending the forward home. "I respect everybody over there," Odom said.
In fact, when his friend and former Lakers teammate Derek Fisher joined the Mavericks last week, Odom said he told Fisher that Dallas was a "class organization."
"I spoke to him when it went down and I told him how that's a great place," Odom said. "I told him they have good people and it's a good organization."
It's not like Odom is tearing it up for the Clippers this season — he's averaging 2.2 points and 3.3 rebounds a game — but they are being patient with him and are seeing progress.
"Right now my focus is on helping the Clippers win games," Odom said. "I'm happy here."
Tape don't lie
The Clippers watched video of Monday night's victory over the Jazz and didn't like what they saw from their starters, as the team fell behind by 13 points in the first quarter and then again by 14 points in the third.
Blake Griffin said the starters must get off to a better start.
"It's important to learn from what we did wrong and what put us in a bad situation in the first three quarters," he said. "We watched the tape and saw those things. Tomorrow we need to come out from the beginning and the starters need to do a better job of it, myself included."