L.A. Lakers: Should Lamar Odom Start in Mike Brown’s New Scheme?

The 2010 FIBA World Championships were a defining moment for the United States in international  basketball competition since it was the Americans' first gold medal in more than 16 years.

The extremely early starting times of the games made it a challenge to catch any contests live, but in those rare sleepy moments when I did catch the Americans playing, two things immediately stood out.

One was eventual MVP Kevin Durant's amazing point out-put and the other was Lamar Odom's ability to make plays on both ends of the court.

Durant's performance over the course of the tournament was incredible, but Odom may have put on the most impressive displays of versatility I have ever seen.

Odom was at times dominant defensively while manning the center position, his length made him a terror on the boards and Odom was often the team's most effective player in the open court.

In one sequence I watched Odom block a shot in the paint, grab the ball out of the air and dribble the full length of the court and at the last instant throw a no-look pass to a trailing Durant who put a period on the play with a thunderous dunk.

No other team in the tournament had a player who could make that play and although Durant grabbed most of the attention with his offensive explosion, Odom is arguably the reason the Americans brought home the gold.

Odom's inspired play in the FIBA tournament served as a spark plug for what was possibly his best season ever as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers, and it culminated with Odom winning his first major NBA end of the year award.

Odom was honored with the NBA's Sixth Man of the Year trophy, and he was quite possibly the most valuable player on the Lakers roster, even ahead of star guard Kobe Bryant.

Besides being the Lakers first player off the bench Odom also started on the various occasions center Andrew Bynum was injured, and he was also the t...

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