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Clippers' Lamar Odom is looking to silence the doubters

'I looked awesome,' Odom says good-naturedly after his first practice in two weeks; he has missed five exhibition games with bone bruise in his foot. He jovially answers questions about availability.

October 30, 2012|By Broderick Turner, Los Angeles Times
  • Lamar Odom missed five exhibition games with a bone bruise in his foot.
Lamar Odom missed five exhibition games with a bone bruise in his foot. (Damian Dovarganes / Getty…)

Sweat still dripped off his face and soaked his jersey when Lamar Odom approached the media Monday after his first practice with the Clippers in two weeks.

Odom was jovial despite being peppered with questions about his availability for the Clippers' season opener Wednesday night against the Memphis Grizzlies at Staples Center. He sat out the last five exhibition games with a bone bruise in his left foot.

"Hopefully I'll play," Odom said about the season opener. "Hopefully, if the trainer lets me. It's always his decision."

Odom was asked whether his knee was injured during the summer, which would explain why he came to training camp out of shape and overweight.

"Injuries are a part of the game," Odom said. "I don't know what else to tell you."

He was asked whether he was finally in game-shape condition.

"Yeah," he responded.

Odom also was asked how much he weighed.

"I don't know," he said. "I just go out there and play. I don't weigh myself."

Odom had the worst season of his 13-year career in Dallas in 2011-12, averaging career lows in points (6.6), rebounds (4.2) and minutes (20.5).

He said he expects this season to be like the "Lamar Odom of 2010," referring to the 2010-11 season he played for the Lakers and was named the NBA's sixth man of the year.

"I'm a competitor," Odom said. "If it was chess, I would want to beat you. If it was a debate, I would want to beat you. I compete for a living. That's what I do."

At the end of his six-minute interview, Odom had one last thing to say about his practice session Monday.

"I looked awesome," Odom said, smiling. "To prove to all the doubters, I was hitting shots, throwing the ball in backwards. I hit a sky hook. Right in their face. That was to all the doubters."

Odom laughed and walked away.

Etc.

Chris Paul said he spoke with James Harden on Sunday after the 6-foot-5 guard was traded from Oklahoma City on Saturday night to the Houston Rockets in a deal that included Kevin Martin, several other players and draft picks.

Paul and Harden were teammates on Team USA's gold-medal-winning Olympic basketball team last summer.

"Obviously it makes both of them two totally different teams," Paul said of the trade. "James is one of the best players, if not in the Western Conference, in the entire NBA.…James is dynamic the whole game…. Houston just got themselves an All-Star."

broderick.turner@latimes.com

twitter.com/BA_Turner

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