Jersey Monday: Lamar Odom

Back before he was a Laker, Lamar Odom was actually one of my favorite players in the league. I know he never quite lived up to the potential he showed in high school (when he was the national Player of the Year and looked like he could have been an evolutionary Magic Johnson), but he was fun to watch.

Odom joined the Miami Heat in 2003, the same year as Dwyane Wade. After watching their surprising run in the playoffs in 2004, I thought that they would be a perfect complement to each other for years to come, so I had no qualms getting an Odom Heat jersey in the Summer of 2004.

Of course, shortly after getting this jersey, rumors started to spring up of a Shaq-to-Miami trade that would send Odom to the Lakers, who I really disliked (I respected the hell out of their championships teams, I just never really liked the team, outside of Shaq). Of course, that trade ended up happening, making this jersey a throwback less than a month after I got it. I think I've only worn it a handful of times, and none since that summer (though until about a year ago, it was the only jersey filling the Heat slot in my collection).

While the jersey may be packed away, my fandom of Lamar Odom lives on via my team choice in NBA Street 2 -- the Clippers. The game, which came out before Odom signed with Miami as a free agent, is still the best in the Street series, and the Clippers have a ridiculously good 3-man lineup. That lineup is anchored by Odom, who is the perfect player for Street: long, athletic, a good shooter and a great shot-blocker. Still, he's not AS good as the game makes him out to be; in the game, he's like a cross between Jordan, Magic and Kareem, which makes playing as the Clippers both unfair and insanely fun.

Jersey Monday will continue every Monday until I run out of jerseys to spotlight. And since I’ve got more than 150 of them, that could be awhile.