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Mavericks and Lamar Odom part ways for the rest of the season
By Royce Young
From day one, Lamar Odom's time in Dallas hasn't worked out well. And it's coming to an end early.
Via ESPN.com, Odom and the Mavericks have agreed to mutually part ways with Odom leaving the team without actually being released.
"The Mavericks and I have mutually agreed that it's in the best interest of both parties for me to step away from the team," Odom said in a statement to ESPN.com. "I'm sorry that things didn't work out better for both of us, but I wish the Mavs' organization, my teammates and Dallas fans nothing but continued success in the defense of their championship."
According to the report, Odom will leave the team immediately and will just be listed as inactive for the remainder of the season, meaning Dallas could trade him after the playoffs during the draft. If anyone bites on Odom though, that team would have to buy him out for $2.4 million by June 29, otherwise they will take on his $8.2 million for the 2012-13 season. And a player that doesn't appear to have his heart in it anymore.
Odom left the Mavs earlier in the season for personal reasons, but returned to the team. That's not happening this time. The Mavs have clearly been frustrated with the Odom situation all season long as Rick Carlisle even boiled over at one point right after the All-Star break, calling out Odom's committment.
"When he comes back, we're going to find out very quickly where things are at," Carlisle said about Odom in early March. "He's going to have to show us with his actions and attitude that he's in.
"I'm disappointed with the way the whole thing's gone. We've worked hard with this kid. I'm a patient guy, Mark is a patient guy, Donnie is a patient guy, our team is a patient team, but patience has worn thin here."
Patience finally ran out. After the Mavs lost to the Grizzlies on Saturday, Carlisle simply said, "No Odom questions." The team was obviously done with him then.
Odom considered retirement during the offseason after the murder of his 24-year-old cousin and then an accident where a teen pedestrian was killed after a car Odom was riding in hit a motorcycle. Odom, who was coming off maybe the best season of his career winning the Sixth Man of the Year award, did virtually no working out in preparation for the season.
Intitially, Odom was seen as a perfect fit for the Mavericks in their title defense. He was a natural backup to Dirk Nowitzki, added a ton of versatility off the bench and would help anchor the interior defense after losing Tyson Chandler. Odom's representatives even reportedly pushed for a trade to Dallas after the failed Chris Paul trade that sent Odom to New Orleans.
Obviously, for whatever reason, Odom's heart has just not been in it. He met with Carlisle to try and straighten things out. He was assigned to the D-League for a minute before being called back up. He left the team. He met with Carlisle and Mark Cuban some more. Nothing snapped him out of it. And with him clearly becoming a major distraction to the team as the Mavs prepare for the playoffs, they just told him to leave. They're fed up with him, and who could blame them.
Odom leaves the Mavericks averaging just 6.6 points and 4.1 rebounds in 20.5 minutes per game while shooting 35.2 percent from the field and 25.2 percent on 3-pointers, all career lows by quite a lot.
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