Keith SchlosserLamar Odom will officially begin his comeback attempt as he starts working out at the Knicks’ training facility this week.
Having not played in the NBA in over a year, Odom is nowhere near where New York needs him to be. Likely a step (or two) behind, he’s isn’t expected to be in game-shape just yet. Instead of hitting the hardwood to scrimmage, individual conditioning will be one of the veteran forward’s main priorities as he makes his way back and the Knicks continue to evaluate him.
Still, after a few weeks in the gym, it’ll be interesting to find out where he stands. With that in mind, it’s being suggested that Odom could turn up on the Knicks’ Summer League team in Las Vegas next month. At the very least, he’d be able to strut his stuff against the NBA’s new generation of up and comers, as well as some of the fringe players (in similar situations to that of Odom’s, in fact) who are hungry and poised to fight for an opportunity in Vegas.
Such an introductory evaluation may do Odom and the Knicks some good.
But as Phil Jackson continues to do his homework on the former Laker’s current status, perhaps seeing him stack up against more serious competition would be worthwhile as well.
In recent weeks, some of the Big Apple’s most notable basketball talents have turned up at the Jordan Brand gym (Terminal 23) in Chelsea, looking to keep themselves fresh during the offseason.
The facility itself was inspired by Carmelo Anthony, and the Knicks’ superstar has been known to play competitive pick up ball there as well, enlisting some friends worth mentioning to join in on the fun. The forward hit the hardwood with J.R. Smith, Kemba Walker, Tobias Harris, Chris Smith and others this week (Zwerling, June 2nd).
Should Odom get himself back into playing shape sooner rather than later, Terminal 23 could be an interesting landing spot this summer. If nothing else, matching up against such notable talent would provide Odom with a decent measuring stick to see how much further he needs to go.
Whereas playing with Anthony and Co. may provide Odom with more intense competition, it may also, ironically enough, allow him to play with less pressure as well. There won’t be as many people watching as there will be in Vegas, so being able to match up against some of the game’s best players (at his own pace, no less) could prove to be a huge confidence booster for the vet.