DALLAS _ Lamar Odom is loyal to a fault.
So when his new Dallas Mavericks team meets his old Los Angeles Laker squad Monday night in LA, Odom will revert back to something his former Laker teammate, Kobe Bryant, told him.
“To be honest with you, I’m a loyal person and I’ve been taught by the best, and that being Kobe,’’ Odom told the Star-Telegram. “I owe it to Dirk (Nowitzki) to kind of leave (the Lakers) behind.
“My brothers in this locker room and the person that I learned it from will tell me the same thing. If I didn’t, it wouldn’t be fair to these (Mavericks) guys.’’
Besides Bryant, Odom said ex-teammate Derek Fisher and former Laker coach Phil Jackson also would tell me that the game of basketball is a business, and sometimes the business isn’t all positive. Odom discovered that when the Lakers tried to trade him to the New Orleans Hornets last month.
“Even PJ told me when it’s over, it’s over,’’ Odom said. “Not just the business side, but just everything. It’s over. Every which way you can think about it.
"The basketball side, the business side, friends, family, it’s over. Derek will tell me the same thing, Kobe will tell me the same thing. That’s what they would tell me.’’
While Odom is making some strides after struggling mightily early on in his new job with the Mavs, he said he is fitting in nicely with the Mavs off the court.
“I can’t complain,’’ Odom said. “Everybody asks me about my family and how I’m liking it.
“The players are so good that I was able to kind of fit in slowly but surely. And I’m lucky.’’
Odom also said his wife, reality TV star Khloe Kardashian, who sits about five rows from the court during home games and has attended nearly every home game, is also settling in comfortably.
“She loves it, she likes Dallas,’’ Odom said. “She likes the opportunities that's presented in front of us as far as making a new home.
“And wherever she is, it’s my home. She’s made Dallas my home so far.’’
-- Dwain Price
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