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Lamar Odom says he's ready to move forward with Clippers

October 01, 2012|By Melissa Rohlin

Lamar Odom is ready to move forward.

He recently recalled a phone conversation that he had with Derek Fisher. While detailing their talk, Odom referred to Fisher as "a captain of one of my old teams," purposely not mentioning the Lakers by name.

Why?

"It's out of respect to this team to not mention where you once were," Odom said of the Clippers, the team he joined in July.

Odom assured reporters that the omission had nothing to do with lingering resentment.

"You'd be a fool to hate what you love, or to hate what you loved," he said. 

In the past, Odom had indicated he felt betrayed by the Lakers in December 2011, when they tried to trade him in a deal for Chris Paul. During that time, Odom was also coping with loss. A few months earlier, his 24-year-old cousin was murdered. The following day, Odom was a passenger in a collision that killed a 15-year-old pedestrian.

In the midst of that turbulence, Odom was dealt to Dallas.

His angst seemed to spill onto the court, where he averaged a career-low 6.6 points and 4.2 rebounds.

Now, Odom said he's grown a lot over the summer, after reflecting on that whirlwind period that took him from being the Sixth Man of the Year with the Lakers in 2011 to a struggling player the following season.

"I wasn't over a lot of things that I had been through," Odom said. "Sometimes when we go through certain things, other things that we've been through in the past might resurface, might come up."

He said he's now ready to move ahead.

"You have to be in the right place, mentally, and I'm in that place," he said.

Odom is no stranger to pain -- and resiliency.

His mother, Cathy Mercer, died of colon cancer when he was 12. His grandmother, who raised him, died in 2004. His son Jayden died of sudden infant death syndrome in 2006.

"You guys know I've been through a lot, I've lost some of the closest people to me, and I've buried a child," Odom told reporters.

He said his hardships have reminded him of something that he had perhaps forgotten: "Just to be appreciative of the opportunity that I've been given, and that's to do what I love."

As for that phone conversation he had with Fisher, Odom said they discussed something they both know a little bit about -- winning championships.

"We just talked about winning and the mindset," Odom said. "We spoke for about 45 minutes."

Odom may not want to dwell on the past, but that doesn't mean he's not willing to apply it to the future.

"Some of that conversation, I'm going to pass onto these guys," he said of his new teammates.


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