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10 Questions

Lamar Odom discusses nicknames, luxury items and MJ

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Posted: Friday December 10, 1999 11:16 AM


Lamar Odom has single-handedly made the Clippers a topic of conversation among NBA fans this season. The team has beaten the likes of the Timberwolves and the Knicks this year, thanks largely to Odom's 18 points and seven rebounds per game. caught up with Odom before Wednesday night's Hawks-Clippers game for these 10 Questions:

1. You rank second in the league in minutes played. Are you starting to get a little tired?

No, not really. The minutes I'm playing are a challenge, because I can play a lot and still be successful. I would play 48 minutes every game if I could.

2. What's been the toughest thing to adapt to in the NBA?

The level of competition every night. During my first road trip, I had to play against Vince Carter, Glenn Robinson and Kevin Garnett back-to-back-to-back. Every game in the NBA is against someone at a certain [high] level.

3. Have you had to perform the rookie chore of carrying the veterans' luggage?

Nah. We have such a young team that I don't really get that harsh treatment. During training camp, I had to sing the National Anthem in front of everybody -- that was my rookie orientation.

4. Is there anyone you modeled your game after when you were growing up?

Mostly [Larry] Bird and Magic [Johnson]. They were the players I picked as the way I wanted to play at a young age.

5. You don't have a driver's license. When do you expect to start driving?

Lamar Odom Lamar Odom may not have a driver's license, but he sure knows how to take the lane. Tom Hauck/Allsport  

Probably in the summertime. I have a real close friend from New York on the team -- Charles Jones -- who lives right around the corner, so whenever I need a ride, he picks me up. It's not a real big thing for me to drive, even though in L.A. you need to, because everything is so spaced out.

6. Were you surprised when you were not the first player picked in the last NBA Draft?

No, because of some of things that happened before the draft, with me firing my agent and not going to the Chicago camp, I wasn't surprised at all. It's everyone's dream to be the first player picked in the draft, but this is the NBA, whether it's the first or 10th pick. You get to play basketball in the league -- you can't ask for anything more than that.

7. What do you think of the nicknames that people have been trying to bestow upon you, like Kenny Smith's calling you "The Goods"?

Whenever somebody gives you a nickname, it's a compliment. Anyone who nicknames themselves is a jerk. A nickname is something someone gives you because they see something. It's just a compliment.

8. How did you feel about being co-rookie of the month for November?

The honest answer to that is that I thought I would get the award all to myself. I didn't realize how good Adrian Griffin [the Celtics' forward who shared the award with Odom] is. I hope to have a good season all year and win Rookie of the Year.

9. What's your favorite thing you've bought since you were drafted?

My penthouse in Marina del Rey. That's the first luxury item I bought.

10. If you could play anyone, whom would you want to take on in a game of one-on-one?

Michael Jordan. If you want to really show what kind of defensive skills you have, guard Mike. That's something I would really love to do.

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