Lamar Odom grew tearful toward the end of his acceptance speech Tuesday after being named NBA Sixth Man of the Year.
Odom began Tuesday to cite those loved one whom he wished could be there with him. Although wife Khloe Kardashian Odom was there, Odom's mother, grandmother and son who have passed away were not.
"There was a point in my career where I think people were ready to call me an underachiever," Odom said. "I think winning an award like this is kind of right at those people that were ready to call me an underachiever."
Odom initially bristled at Phil Jackson's idea a couple years ago to move Odom to the bench so young center Andrew Bynum could be a consistent starter next to Pau Gasol in the frontcourt. But Odom came around and broke through with individual notice this season.
He was honored again before the Lakers' Game 2 playoff Wednesday night at Staples Center -- and followed that up with 16 points and seven rebounds off the Lakers' bench.
Odom appeared in all 82 games for the Lakers this season, averaging 14.4 points, 8.7 rebounds and 3.0 assists in 32.2 minutes. Ranked 15th among league leaders in rebounds and 11th (.530) in field goal percentage, Odom recorded 28 double-doubles on the season while scoring 20-plus points 14 times and was key for the Lakers while Bynum was sidelined to start the season because of offseason knee surgery.
LAKERS 87, HORNETS 78: Andrew Bynum led a sluggish Lakers offense with 17 points on 8-of-11 shooting. But the Lakers' defense forced 16 turnovers, which they turned into 22 points.
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