ODOM SPEAKS HIS MIND AFTER PRACTICE

Blake Griffin and Lamar Odom

Lamar Odom held court after practice Sunday, speaking to the media for more than 15 minutes. The conversation ranged from his opinion on how to measure greatness to Blake Griffin’s need to take more shots from the perimeter. Here are some of Odom’s most noteworthy comments.

On Blake Griffin developing as a jump shooter:  

“It’s important for him [Griffin] to take them [jump shots], especially in this environment, in this atmosphere. Because it will help him, just the confidence from taking shots will help him on the free throw line as well; just having the threat. I can remember, Charles Barkley, at one point in his career used to get the ball off the glass, go coast-to-coast, one leg, two-hand dunks. Karl Malone, everything was inside, but later on their careers they started to establish a perimeter shot. I think if Blake could try to establish that earlier in his career, not only will he make himself better, but make his team better.”

“It just takes time. He’s great at being an athlete. He understands the game and he understands what he needs to do. He’ll be a Hall of Famer one day.”

On Griffin’s physicality:

“He’s a physical player. When he goes in there he creates contact, because he’s so strong and big and fast. Blake’s physical, but he makes you be physical. Our practices are going to be competitive.”

On opposing players committing hard fouls against Griffin:

“He’s [Griffin] got to expect that. He dunks the ball. Guys who dunk the ball are going to go through that. It’s the most embarrassing play in the NBA when somebody takes the ball and dunks it over you. That’s the first thing you see when Sports Center is on, or YouTube, or any highlight reel you can think. A guy can have 25 points and 10 rebounds, but if he gets dunked on three times in a game, that’s what they’re going to show. They’re going to show three dunks.”

“Blake has to expect that. That’s why getting a nice floater or a jump hook will help because he can make his nice power move and finish with finesse. He’ll get and-ones that way, too.”

On his relationship with Griffin, after the two were involved in a confrontation in the waning minutes of a game in January 2011 when Odom was a member of the Lakers:

“We were always good. Me and Blake are under the same umbrella, Excel Sports. That [disagreements] is on the court. You’ve got to understand, we’re playing a high level of basketball. I wasn’t on his team [back then]. Now I’m on his team and all that is put to the side.”

On playing with Chris Paul and Chauncey Billups after lining up against them for most of his career:

“You know, I used to hate Chris Paul, but now I love him. I used to hate playing against Chauncey Billups. I remember one game we were playing against him, he hit like 10 threes in the second half or something like that, but when we went to the World Championships [in 2010] I loved him. You know, those relationships don’t carry on off the court that’s the beautiful thing about the league.”

On what made Paul get under his skin as opponent:

“The way he competes... If the ball was on the floor, he’d be diving, kicking, scratching, whatever he needs to do to win. Those are the guys you…hate ‘em.”

On his conditioning entering training camp:

“It could be better, but that’s what camp is for, to prepare for the season.”

Asked to compare Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant and Lebron James, Odom said:

“You can’t. You know, it’s hard to compare players that have come in at different times, and different eras, and their jobs are different. It’s easier to compare the players who came in in 1999 together or have played against each other. It’s hard to compare greatness as well. That’s the argument we all love, that’s why we all love going to the game or hanging out in the barbershop and arguing who’s better.”

On what his personal goals are for the season:

“Just help my team win every game. Individually, I know if I do well then I help the team, whatever team I’m on. That’s been the case since I’ve been like 12.”