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NBA Roundhouse: Odom’s Quits in Big-D, Rubio’s Bothersome Knee and Wade’s Olympian Issues

If your ex’s really live in Texas then Lamar Odom should hang his hat back in California because this week the Mavericks and Odom have decided that it’s time to part ways.

Mar 21, 2012; Dallas, TX, USA; Dallas Mavericks power forward Lamar Odom (7) looks to pass the ball during the game against the Los Angeles Lakers at the American Airlines Center. The Lakers defeated the Mavericks 109-93. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-US PRESSWIRE

The Mavericks made it clear that they wanted to get back into the playoff push and Odom’s less than stellar performance this year is not what the defending champs are looking for.

“We’ve got to be able to look down that bench and count on folks to be consistent, unfortunately with him in his state right now, he’s just not capable of doing that. I say that with his best interest in mind.” Said GM Daniel Nelson. “He’s going through a very, very tough personal time. We certainly understand that. But we’re in the thick of it in the West and we’ve got to win games.”

Owner Mark Cuban saw firsthand that Odom was having trouble but decided to give him the benefit of the doubt. After being traded to Dallas from Los Angles after an initial trade to New Orleans was blocked by the NBA, the death of his 24 year old cousin and being involved in a fatal car crash that killed a teen pedestrian after the car he was a passenger in collided with a motorcycle many believed his performances would improve once he was allowed to grieve and eventually settle in with Dallas. But as time went on many, including Cuban, saw that it just wasn’t going to happen. But the last straw came when the Mavericks were playing Memphis Saturday night.

During half time Cuban said “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.” Cuban also reveled that Odom was often late for practices and meetings and also had a “negative energy” around him. On top of that he averaged 6.6 points, 4.2 rebounds and 20.5 minutes in his underwhelming 50-game stint in Dallas were career lows.

While Odom is now listed an inactive, the Mavericks look to the future “The way his contract is structured, it will hopefully create some opportunities for us,” Cuban said, noting that he thinks Odom is tradeable. “Absolutely. It’s in his best interests to get his act together, and I’m sure he will. Lamar is still a talented basketball player. He just went through some issues this year. We thought we could work through them with him this year and we weren’t able to. Next.”

Ricky Rubio may have had reconstructive surgery on his left knee but that didn’t stop him from being all smiles most of the time for his first public comments at the Target Center about his surgery. Rubio said that he does not know if he will be back in time for training camp or some of the first part of next season but is happy about the love and encouragement he is getting from NBA stars like Dwyane Wade and fans of the Wolves and other NBA teams, “I was happy to see all the people helping me and just giving shout-outs.” The Wolves were in eighth place in the Western Conference and in line for a playoff spot when Rubio was hurt in the final seconds when they played the Los Angeles Lakers on March 9. They are now 4-13 since his injury and feel to 25-33. After rehabilitating for more than two weeks in Vail, CO. where Dr. Richard Steadman performed the operation, Rubio has returned to Minnesota and went to the Wolves game on Monday for the first time since he was hurt. “You want to play so bad. You just have to enjoy watching basketball, because it’s the only way you can do it,” Rubio said. He has a follow up exam in one month but until then it is pointless to put a timetable on his return. While the original heal time was 7 ½ months, but this injury can take up to at least 9 months to heal. “I don’t know when I’m going to come back. The first thing that I want to make sure is when I come back I’m 100 percent I don’t want to put a date on it, because it depends on how my knee feels.” Rubio said. He also didn’t believe that this injury was that serious, he thought that he would be out only for a few games, not the whole season. But he soon learned that it was more than he ever thought. But for now Rubio is happy to be back in Minnesota with his family, friends and teammates. A testament to his upbeat personality or his age is what Rubio said, “You just have to be strong and do your best to try to come back even harder. I love basketball. I love playing basketball and I’m going to do my best to play again.”

D-Wade Want Olympic Pay

Dwyane Wade is one of the stars on the Miami Heat. He made a reported $26.2 million in salary and endorsement deals last year, and thinks NBA stars should be paid for playing in the Olympics.

Yes your read that right, Wade wants to be paid even more to represent his country in the Olympics. He said:

“The biggest thing is now you get no rest. So you go to the end of the season, (Team USA) training camp is two weeks later. You’re giving up a lot to do it. It’s something you want to do. But it’s taxing on your body. You’re not playing for the dollar. But it would be nice if you would get compensated.”

As expected his comments drew a firestorm of negative attention. Everything from the most obvious and that is doing it for the love of your country and if you get paid what about all the other Olympians?

But what many don’t know is that he IS getting “compensated.” Nike pays Wade a reported $12 million per year in endorsements and Nike is the sponsor for Team USA jerseys and gold medal winners from the US already get $25,000.

Now mind you, I’m not a super patriotic person but the Olympics is one of the biggest stages ANY athlete will play on and you are being asked by your country to represent them. Why you would even ask to be paid is beyond comprehension. Obviously the immediate backlash cause Wade to release a statement saying that, “I do not want to be paid to go to the Olympics.” And he even took to his twitter to second that and say “BUT my love 4 the game & pride 4 USA motivates me more than any $$$ amount. I repped my country in 2004 when we won the bronze medal and… …stood proudly to receive our gold medal in 2008 in Beijing. It’s always been an honor for me to be a part of the USA Olympic family… …and I’m looking forward to doing it again in London this summer..”

Other News and Notables

  • It might be wishful thinking or insider information but Senior Vice President of the Orlando Magic Pat Williams says that he wants Coach Stan Van Gundy and Dwight Howard to stay on the team well after Howard’s contract is up. Williams also said that getting the team back in top health and winning will also cure what ails the Magic. Williams said, “Finish well and then have a wonderful run in the playoffs, that would probably cure most of the issues” Before his wish can come true they will first need to get Howard back in the game, he will sit out indefinitely with herniated disk in his lower back. The Magic have no timetable on his return and will start treatment soon. He will also be getting a second opinion for what was originally thought as back spasms. But the second is a mediator, last week Van Gundy said that Howard asked to be fired from the Magic. But Williams has said of the incident between the two last week that it, “think this shook them both up, that’s my opinion I think they’re going to be better for it.” He also feels that Howard is the “centerpiece” of the team and they want to prove that they can win a NBA Championship with him. Stay tuned next week…
  • Kobe Bryant has missed his 5th straight game with a bruised left shin. Bryant has not played since April 6th when they lost to
  • Houston and is missing only his 100th game in his 16 year career. He also saw his record of 138 consecutive starts streak gone. But Lakers coach Mike Brown is not worried about all of that he just wants Bryant to be healthy and return to the starting lineup. He has said that there is not putting a date on his return because this type of injury requires lots of rest. Brown said that he is getting little harassment from Bryant about returning because Bryant wants to be cautious and not hurt himself anymore then he already has.
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