Some of the unsung heroes in Los Angeles Lakers franchise history are the players who have embraced their roles and realized their full potential. Not only does LA have some of the greatest players of all time, they also have some of the best sixth men of all time in a guy like former forward Lamar Odom.
After being acquired by the Miami Heat in 2004 as part of the Shaquille O’Neal trade, the Lakers had engineered and found one of the big missing pieces for a championship that would eventually lead to back-to-back titles in 2009 and 2010 with Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol.
Following his professional basketball career, Odom was at the lowest point in his life financially and made the difficult decision to auction off his Laker championship rings to provide some sustainability for himself now and in the future.
In the first episode of Odom’s new On The Lo podcast, he shares how he got his championship rings back from a fan after he auctioned them off:
“Long story short, there was a time when I woke up from the coma, checked my account and my shit was double zero, and I kind of panicked. I mean I’m Lammy, I’m the first black Kardashian, people are always used to seeing me. I have a lot of friends in really high places and I wish I would have used them, but I just woke up from the coma and my mind wasn’t really in the right place. I am offering (the rings) for auction. It hurt me just to say that. So whatever, I hung her, put the money in my pocket, used it. Made some use of it. I think the money even helped me come back here, but I was embarrassed to do that. A few years pass and I make my way back to LA. I contact the Lakers, go to a Lakers game and they helped me out with some good tickets. I get there and see a guy who used to be sitting right next to us. Let’s call him Franz for now. My husband Franz. He says ‘Yo, Lamar, I bought your rings.’ I said ‘Oh shit.’ Because at this point I’m still embarrassed… But he said, “Yes, I have your rings.” After getting over that embarrassment, he says, “Just come and pick it up.” I stopped him and he gave me my shit back for free.”
During his playing career, Odom was a fan favorite on and off the field for the Purple and Gold. Lakers fans can safely conclude that without Odom’s two-way ability, these two championships will not happen.
Seeing the work and knowing all that Odom means to the Lakers franchise makes it sane for the two-time champion to get his rings back from a good Samaritan fan who himself deserves a ton of credit for giving the rings to Lamar brought back.
Walker is grateful for Gasol’s advice
Another key member of those 2009 and 2010 championship teams was Gasol, who remains very closely associated with the Lakers organization to this day.
Gasol recently attended a Lakers practice session and spoke with the team. There he saw a familiar face in Lonnie Walker IV, a former San Antonio Spurs teammate.
Walker spoke about the advice he received from Gasol when dealing with an injury in his rookie season and how grateful he was for it at the time.
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