Odom got another individual honor of sorts when he played for the U.S. national team at last summer’s world championships, winning a gold medal with a solid effort that spread into an outstanding start to the current NBA season.
“It’s good recognition of a player that has really filled a role for us the last couple of years,” said Jackson, who advocated Odom for his first All-Star berth after his outstanding start to the season. “To be named to the USA team was really big for him, and to start on that team was important.”
A few weeks ago, Odom said he planned to put the Sixth Man trophy on the scorers’ table at center court at Staples Center if he won it.
“When I came off the bench, they started to give me a round of applause they never gave me before,” Odom said. “I don’t know if they appreciated me more, or appreciated how I handled the situation, but I know I hadn’t experienced anything like that before.”
Odom’s wife, reality-TV star Khloe Kardashian, and his mother-in-law attended the award news conference. Odom and Kardashian starred in a reality series about their married life that was filmed down the stretch of the regular season and is currently airing on the E! network.
Odom and Kardashian say they both considered the potential for distractions from the show, both while filming and after it started airing. The show is frequently a topic of conversation at the Lakers‘ practices, although mostly for teasing Odom.
“Just from experience and from talking to Lamar, I don’t think it was a distraction,” Kardashian said. “Lamar isn’t the kind of guy that gets distracted by things like that. During the season, he’s very focused on what he has to do for his team.”