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Lamar Odom experiences deja vu at Staples Center

October 18, 2012|By Melissa Rohlin

When Lamar Odom pulled up to Staples Center, he took a deep breath.

He walked past the Lakers locker room, where he spent seven seasons and won two NBA championships. Then he walked into the Clippers locker room, where he began his career in 1999.

It was a surreal experience for Odom who left Los Angeles in December after being dealt to Dallas.

"I was having some moments of deja vu when I first got here," Odom said. "I was 19 years old, I'm 32, you know, it's an amazing place to play basketball."

Odom didn't play in the Clippers 96-94 preseason win over Utah on Wednesday. He entered the Clippers' training camp with weight and conditioning issues, and Coach Vinny Del Negro said he feared that playing Odom under those conditions could set back his balky knees.

So Odom, a former Sixth Man of the Year with the Lakers, observed his new team from the bench.

"It's always hard to watch but there's a time and a place for everything, and sometimes that's when you learn the most, when you can step back," Odom said.

Odom is an emotional guy. When he found out that the Lakers wanted to trade him in a deal to get Chris Paul last year, he indicated he felt betrayed. Even though the trade was nixed by NBA Commissioner David Stern, Odom stopped going to Lakers practices.

After the Lakers sent him to Dallas, he proceeded to average career lows in points (6.6 points) and rebounds (4.2).

Odom said he thinks that he'll be able to turn things around in Los Angeles.

"The city has raised me, I'm a familiar face and I'm very familiar with the people here," he said. "This is my home."

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