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Lamar Odom has some high hopes for the Clippers and said they are deeper than the championship Lakers teams he played on.
It is a big statement, considering that while Odom played for the Los Angeles Lakers they made three straight NBA Finals trips and won the title twice in a row. Odom was traded to the Clippers on June 30 from Dallas where he spent half of last season. Odom played for the Lakers in 2004-2011.
Odom didn't specifically mention the Lakers by name, as ESPN reports. But it was pretty clear what team the topic of conversation was about. When asked if he had ever been on a deeper team, Odom replied, "No."
I've been on good teams. I've been on a team that went to the Finals three years in a row. You have to be pretty good to get to the Finals. But championships aren't won by just talking about a team and looking at a roster. We've all seen good rosters before and teams that we think should win, but this team is built to compete against the best teams in the NBA. If we were to play a seven-game series right now against the best teams in the NBA, I would expect us to compete.
The Clippers do have one of the better starting five's on paper between Chris Paul, Chauncey Billups, Caron Butler, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan. But they are playing in a Western Conference that saw the Lakers more than retool over the summer with the additions of Steve Nash and Dwight Howard, as well as a one more year experienced Oklahoma City Thunder squad that lost in the NBA Finals to the Miami Heat last year.
Odom plans on using his leadership skills and aiming to regain his role as one of the best sixth men in the nation.
"I spoke to a guy named Derek Fisher, one of the captains of my old teams, last night," Odom said. "And we just talked about winning and the mindset of winning. We spoke for about 45 minutes. Some of that conversation, I'm going to pass on to these guys as soon as we head into the locker room because it is a mindset and there's a certain way that winners think on and off the court."