DALLAS -- The big fish at the Dallas Mavericks' Media Day on Tuesday was Lamar Odom.
Now a member of the Mavericks after spending the past seven seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers, Odom spent 15 minutes being grilled by the media on a variety of issues. Last year's Sixth Man Award winner talked about being disrespected by the Lakers when they tried to trade him to New Orleans, and about whether he plans to continue filming his reality TV show with his wife, Khloe Kardashian.
What do you think of a Mavericks team that swept your Los Angeles Lakers squad last year in the second round of the playoffs? After we played against them, I realized that this was probably going to be the team to win the championship. They gave it to us, and hopefully we can keep that going. Even though I wasn't on this team last year, I have a lot of pride being on this team and playing with the defending champions to try to help them do that -- defend their title.
You won back-to-back titles with the Lakers in 2009 and '10. How difficult will it be for the Mavericks to repeat as NBA champs? It's hard. If they thought winning the championship was hard, defending it is going to be even tougher. Everybody's coming for you, rather than you doing the gunning, which changes the mindsets of teams and your team. If a team can do it, this one can.
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Do you expect to play the same role coming off the bench here that you played with the Lakers? I think so -- do a little bit of everything. Wherever they need me to play and whenever they need me to play it, that's what I came here to do.
After the Lakers secretly tried to trade you to New Orleans, and that deal was blocked by commissioner David Stern, you asked the Lakers to trade you to Dallas. Why? This is the place I wanted to be. After I realized that I wasn't going to most likely be a Laker anymore, then Dallas was the one place where I thought would be a great fit.
Will you still do your reality TV show, Khloe & Lamar, while you're playing for the Mavs if it's OK with Mark Cuban, the coaches and your teammates? I don't know. That's something we'll speak about. It seems like [Cuban] will like it, though. Mark is outgoing and rambunctious. I'll talk to him about it. It is what I do.
Are you surprised the Lakers thought your TV show was a distraction to the team? I wasn't surprised by it. It's something that you've got to take with a grain of salt. You feel it. I just wish that if it was, that somebody would have told me a little earlier. And if it was, then I would have done something about it.
After seven years with the Lakers, does it feels strange being with the Mavericks? Yeah, it's surreal. It's definitely surreal. It happened, you know, like that!
Take us through the timeline of the trade to New Orleans, and it being blocked. Yeah, um, I can't cuss. That's not where I wanted to be. No disrespect to anybody that plays on that team or the city or the ownership. It's not a place where I wanted to be after playing for the Lakers -- a team that contends for a championship -- that's what you expect to be around. It was hard for me to picture myself there starting over [with] a young team.
How did the Lakers disrespect you in regards to trying to trade you to New Orleans? It wasn't about going to New Orleans, but it was about just how they did it. I felt a little disrespected. After being there so long and going through so many things with them, I felt like they could have just told me, and I probably would have accepted it. If someone is telling you that you can't be here, or there's no more room for you, then you've got to understand that. How they did it was the reason why I took it so personal.
Dwain Price, 817-390-7760