Lamar Odom has an autobiography coming out and an expert appeared in D Magazine. It deals with his time with the Dallas Mavericks during the 2011-2012 season. Odom appeared in 50 games, averaged (then) career-lows and was sent to the D-League. He also claims to have been kicked by Mavs’ owner Mark Cuban. Via D Magazine:
Cuban extended his right foot and kicked my shin. “Come on, motherf—-!” he shouted.
I was stunned. This wasn’t a tap. I felt it. That was the last straw. It was painfully clear he did not respect me as a man. I felt the adrenaline rush through my body. In an instant I was transported back to Linden Boulevard, where the slightest act of disrespect could be fatal. As I sprang up, Vince Carter, who was sitting next to me, grabbed my arm tightly and leaned in.
“LO, chill out,” Vince calmly said. “Don’t do it. It’s not worth it.”
Odom isn’t specific on when this happened, but there were plenty of opportunities. While the Mavs were happy to acquire Odom after the league nixed the Chris Paul trade that would have sent him to the Hornets, they were not happy with his performance. In April there was a “heated confrontation. Via ESPN:
Cuban confirmed Tuesday evening the crux of the heated halftime confrontation was Cuban questioning Odom’s commitment. Odom, who had played only four minutes in the first half, reacted angrily to the question, shouting “stop playing games” several times. Odom did not take his seat on the bench until after the third quarter began.
“Well, yeah,” Cuban said when asked whether that exchange was the final straw. “Just his response to it. Everybody goes through ups and downs. Every player does. We tried to put him in a position to succeed. You guys saw it, saw what we did. It didn’t work.
“And I just asked him, does he want to go for it or not? Is he in or is he out? I think he thought we were playing poker. I just didn’t get a commitment. And that was the end.”
There were other incidents as well.
This was not the first time that Cuban had confronted Odom during a game. During a March 6 win over the New York Knicks, Cuban shouted at Odom from the owner’s seat near the Mavs bench after the forward’s failure to hustle back on defense resulted in an uncontested layup for New York’s Landry Fields. Cuban and Odom both downplayed that incident at the time, with Cuban pointing out that he’s a passionate fan who frequently yells at players.
It will be interesting to see how Cuban responds to the allegation.