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Jackson says Odom needs to take things more in stride

Times Staff Writer

Lamar Odom was back.

“I guess I am,” he said with a shrug and a smile before Sunday’s game against Indiana.

Odom returned to the lineup after serving a one-game suspension for a flagrant foul on Boston Celtics guard Ray Allen, a mistake that cost him $120,441 in pay and a mild rebuke from Coach Phil Jackson.

“There are times when he can’t let things go,” Jackson said. “Things don’t happen right for him and he might get a refereeing call and doesn’t let it go. Those are times when I’d like him to relax, just let it go and forget about things. But for the most part, I like his attitude on the floor.”

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Odom had 13 points and 13 rebounds in the Lakers’ 112-96 victory over the Pacers.

While Jackson was on the subject of players and referees, he was asked about Kobe Bryant’s demeanor this season.

Bryant has four technical fouls through 32 games and seems less interested in tangling with referees after collecting 14 technicals last season and 15 in 2005-06. Players are suspended for a game if they get 16 technical fouls. (Bryant was suspended two games last season for striking opposing players after following through on his shot.)

“I’m very pleased,” Jackson said. “He got a technical the other night simply because I think he was standing up for his teammates. He wanted to kind of set a tone. But other than that, he’s been very controlled and stays off them a little bit. We talked a lot about that in the off-season -- know there’s going to be those problems in the course of the game.”

Thursday marks a big day for undrafted rookie Coby Karl.

“It’s D-Day,” he said. “A decisive date in my career is coming up.”

All NBA players with non-guaranteed contracts become officially guaranteed for the rest of the season if they are still on the roster on Thursday, as per league rules.

All indications are that Karl will not be waived. He rarely plays and spent four weeks on the Lakers’ Development League team, although he scored his first NBA basket Friday against Philadelphia.

“I’m happy to be here,” he said. “It’s a long season, especially when you have to work hard for everything. But that’s nothing new for me. I’ve had to work for everything my whole career. I hope I stay.”

Karl makes close to the league minimum of $412,000.

Vladimir Radmanovic (sprained right ankle) and Sasha Vujacic (sprained left ankle and back spasms) sat out Sunday’s game. Jackson said Radmanovic would not go on an upcoming two-game trip to Memphis and New Orleans.

mike.bresnahan@latimes.com


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