05/15/2012 - 10:08
Lamar Eyes Olympic Chance
Fresh off one of the toughest years of his career, Lamar Odom is thinking London.
After his 2011-2012 season with the Dallas Mavericks came to an abrupt end, Lamar threw himself into his workouts, with his mind set on securing a spot on the 2012 U.S. Olympic basketball team. He recently reached out to Team USA coach Mike Krzyzewski to ask that he remain in consideration for the team.
LO developed a good reputation with coach Mike Krzyzewski during the World Championships and Coach K said he earned "equity." (Getty Images).
On Monday, Krzyzewski said that LO is in the thick of the competition for a spot on the team. There are currently 18 players set to go to camp with USA Basketball this July in Las Vegas and only 12 can make the team that will head to London later that month.
"Lamar has been a part of our pool. Guys that have competed they earn equity," Krzyzewski said. "I felt bad that the year wasn't a good one for him. He has an opportunity if he comes in shape."
LO values his international basketball experience as much as he does anything he has done in the NBA and was integral part of Team USA's run to a gold medal at the 2010 FIBA World Championships.
"[It was] an incredible moment for all us," Lamar said. "So to be playing and representing your country, it's a big deal."
He helped push Team USA to gold by averaging 7.1 points and 7.7 rebounds per game during an undefeated run through the tournament. LO saved his best for last, with a 15-point, 11-rebound showing in the championship game.
"Lamar was our second leading scorer in Istanbul. We would not have won the World Championships without him," Krzyzewski said. "He said the [World Championships] were as good an experience as he ever had in basketball. He said, 'I'd love to be given the opportunity to play again.'"
The coach also said that LO's bumpy 2011-2012 season will not be held against him when Team USA enters training camp in Las Vegas.
"I think, for most players, there are certain bumps and certain things happen throughout their career," he said. "They aren't playing well, they are hurt, and we'll get a chance to determine his status when we start training camp. He is a part of our pool and we have a great relationship with Lamar."
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