“I'm in horrible shape.” Just a few minutes after Team USA's first day of training camp in Las Vegas, Lamar Odom already was exhausted.
Yet he remained optimistic.
“I'll get in shape.” Because he has to erase bad memories, he wants to perform at his highest level this summer.
Odom was a member of the 2004 USA Basketball team that finished with a disappointing bronze medal in Greece.
His team-mate Kobe Bryant was a member of the “Redeem Team” at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.
Now it’s time for Odom to look for his own redemption.
“It's pretty cool to play on that stage and to try to get back there and get the opportunity to play for a gold medal.
It's a big deal for me,” he said.
“I'm closer to the end of my career than the beginning, so it was an opportunity that I really couldn't pass up.”
As a role player, the forward was critical on the league's best team (9.7 points with 8.6 rebounds and 2.0 assists in the 2010 postseason).
Odom's versatility would fit into the international game.
He can defend opposing big men when they play away from the perimeter.
He can move to the backcourt and shoot over guards and handle the ball when his team goes up against zone defences.
Odom may not be a superstar but his complimentary role in Los Angeles with the NBA champions has led to the notion that he can be a game-changer on a team full of talent.
Championnat du monde de basket l Campeonato del mundo de baloncesto l Basketball-Weltmeisterschaft l Παγκόσμιο Πρωτάθλημα Μπάκετ l Svetovno prvenstvo v košarki l بطولة العالم في كرة السلة