Thursday, May 28, 2009

L-Boogie Through L-Boogie

I don't make it much of a secret; I miss Lauryn Hill. If you want to know why, then ask me in the comments. To me, she's the greatest female musical talent in the history of mankind; and my favorite musician, regardless of gender. She's Erykah Badu and Jean Grae, Rah Digga and Janelle Monae, The Songstress and The Floacist—all in one supremely talented woman. But, for reasons that can only be speculated, her career is on halt; leaving her fans to wonder where she is and if she'll return to form. Right now, she's just a mythological goddess of music that supporters just frustratingly wonder, "What if?" Similarly, in the Basketball Realm, there's a players that elicits the same feelings whenever you see flashes of what lies within his inconsistent grasp. That player is Lamar Odom. More after the random picture...

Now, I don't "miss" Lamar Odom, nor does he resonate in my Basketball soul the way Ms. Hill does in my musical one. And I don't believe he's the greatest anything in Basketball, except that he most likely has the best handle of anyone over 6'9" in the history of the game. But whether or not you're a fan of Kobe and the Lake Show, you can't help but be frustrated with the fickleness with which he plays. He's streaky, in the sense that inconsistency is his career-long streak. From his beginning with the Clippers, to the brief stop in South Beach (the best part of his career), to right now in The City of Angels, Odom hasn't quite seemed to live up to the potential that his natural abilities suggest that he possesses. He literally can do everything on the court; and the only difference between him and Lebron is Lebron's ruthlessness.

It's this passivity that bothers those that know the depths of Odom's powers. For whatever reason, he prefers being the third option on a team that relies on his versatility. With all due respect to Kevin Garnett, 'Sheed, and Dirk, it's Lamar that is best naturally equipped to fully revolutionize the power forward position—if only he believed he could. I don't know if it's a genuine timidity from the pressures of being a key player; one can only guess. But my speculation is that Lamar Odom simply is willing to let others shine. It's a little deeper than Joe Johnson's unassuming personality. Reverend Joey will still average a solid twenty a game without the flash and flare of the elite players. Odom would rather contribute as an unknown soldier than receive credit for being the X-factor he is. When Pau was first given traded to LA, it was Odom who flourished, but it was Pau who received the praise for being the difference. He's a man that's been through a lot; and continues to be one of the more likable people in the Association. He's best friends with Ron Artest, and still maintains his sanity. That alone garners him respect.

So, seeing plays like the dunk on the Birdman in Game 5, like Chris Andersen was a bird in "Duck Hunt," will bring about feelings of frustrations and searches of answers to why Odom doesn't unleash his powers more often. But, like unexpectedly hearing "Ready or Not", appreciate it when it occurs; even if it's few and far between. Maybe sometime in the near future, both versions of L-Boogie can overcome whatever is holding them back and be the people that fans are longing for; and for me in regards to Lauryn, fell in love with.


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