Mavs Coach Carlisle Rips Odom
Speaking of Lamar Odom on his weekly radio show on KESN-FM, Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle let it be known that the organization's patience with the player has run its course.
There is something troubling Lamar that only those very close to him know about. As is my obligation, with something this sensitive I prefer to discuss it with the subject if possible. I will attempt to do that on Saturday as FOX Sports is dispatching me to Frisco to cover Lamar's one-game D-League stint.
Until that time, we - and Lamar - have Rick Carlisle's words to absorb.
"When he comes back, we're going to find out very quickly where things are at," Carlisle said on his radio program. "He's going to have to show us with his actions and attitude that he's in.''
Carlisle continued: "Mark (Cuban) asks a fundamental question with anybody in our franchise: Are they in or are they not in? Our fans want to know that Lamar's in, our players want to know that Lamar's in. It's not about how many points he's scoring or rebounds. ... Our fans, our players want to see the guy playing like his pants are on fire, and we haven't seen that so far. And that's got to change."
Odom's agent issued a statement trying to make it clear that Lamar's stint is voluntary (as it must be, by league rules) and that it was all Lamar's idea. But the spin from Jeff Schwartz - with whom the Mavs enjoy a nice relationship that they wish to continue as he's Jason Kidd and Deron Williams' guy - was subjected to some reverse spin due to Rick's remarks.
Smart money: As much as Dallas has a trusting and familial relationship with its fellas, Rick has been waiting more than a week to let 'er loose. And now that Rick's boss (Cuban) and Lamar's rep (Schwartz) have an understanding, Rick can let 'er rip.
The Mavs are not close to cutting Odom. Or to 'Tariqing' him. It's far too early to consider that within the parameters of Asset Management. But as DB.com reported earlier this week, LO has lost the support of the leadership in the locker room, who essentially "kicked him off the team''' until he was ready to commit.
"When he steps back on the floor in a Mavericks uniform, there is going to be a lot of scrutiny," Carlisle said, referring not at all to the much-scrutinized Odom/Kardashian reality TV show. "This is not just the expectation, this is the reality: The guy's got to play his ass off."
Rick used that same expression both on his radio show and then in the pregame media session in New Orleans. There is, I'm told, a plan for one more speech: Lamar to his teammates, in which he will explain, apologize and commit.
if the "explain'' portion of the speech includes the bombshell that I believe is in play here, Odom's Mavs teammates will almost certainly express sympathy.
Sympathy, along with a Carlisle-level demand that he (and they, now burdened by a four-game losing streak) start playing their asses off.