Lakers' Odom suspended for a game
League rules that a flagrant foul on Celtics guard Ray Allen in Sunday's game is worthy of a suspension, costing Odom $120,441.
Los Angeles Lakers forward Lamar Odom reacts after dunking the ball during the first half of their NBA basketball game against the Utah Jazz. (AP / December 28, 2007)
Odom will sit out Friday's game against Philadelphia and will also forfeit $120,441 in pay.
After Odom's shot was blocked by Kevin Garnett, Odom appeared to slam his body into Allen, who retrieved the ball with 2:57 to play in the Lakers' 110-91 loss. Allen was called for a technical foul on the play for moving menacingly toward Odom after the collision.
Odom said afterward he was going for the ball. The league and Allen disagreed.
"I don't know what Odom was thinking," Allen told reporters. "I got the rebound and he tackled me. I know this is Sunday, but this is the wrong field."
The Lakers did not practice Monday or Tuesday. It was unclear who would start in Odom's place against the 76ers (14-17).
"We're disappointed," Lakers spokesman John Black said. "We don't think he would do anything to ever intentionally harm another player. We're going to be missing one of our best players for Friday's game, but the league made its decision and we will accept it, even if we disagree with it."
What now for the Lakers in the big-picture scheme of things?
"For us, we kind of talked about it," Kobe Bryant said. "To get to that next level, that next tier of teams -- San Antonio, the Celtics and so forth -- we have to work twice as hard. We're not there yet, but I'm confident we will get there."
Six of the Lakers' next seven games are against teams with losing records.
It was easy to hear Bryant's admiration for the Celtics after the Lakers' loss.
"Defense wins titles," he said. "I think they understand that, and they have a great deal of veterans over there who are all hungry for that. That's what they play for."