Lakers' Odom wins Sixth Man award
Lakers forward Lamar Odom won the NBA's Sixth Man award on Tuesday as the league's top reserve.
Odom averaged 14.4 points, 8.7 rebounds and 3 assists per game this season while playing in every game for the Lakers. Odom was a starter for long stretches of the season while center Andrew Bynum was sidelined with injuries, but also came off the bench 47 times.
''I'm very happy for him,'' Kobe Bryant said after the Lakers' workout Tuesday. ''It's extremely well-deserved.''
Odom is the first Lakers player to win the award, which began in 1983. Atlanta's Jamal Crawford won it last season.
Odom received 96 of 117 first-place votes from the media panel, easily outdistancing Dallas guard Jason Terry, who finished a distant second with 244 total points to Odom's 513. Philadelphia's Thaddeus Young was third with 76 points, and Boston's Glen Davis finished fourth with 75.
Crawford received five first-place votes while finishing fifth, and Philadelphia's Lou Williams received a single first-place vote.
Odom was a starter during his first nine NBA seasons with the Clippers, Heat and Lakers, but moved primarily to a reserve role during the 2008-09 season. The Lakers won the NBA championship that year and the next, with Odom coming off the bench for all but five of Los Angeles' 46 playoff games.
Odom also played for the U.S. national team at last summer's world championships.
''It's good recognition of a player that has really filled a role for us the last couple of years,'' said Lakers coach Phil Jackson, who advocated Odom for his first All-Star berth after his outstanding start to the current season. ''To be named to the USA team was really big for him, and to start on that team was important.''
Although Odom comes off the bench, he's a vital member of Los Angeles' rotation. He struggled in the Lakers' playoff-opening loss to New Orleans on Sunday, managing just 10 points and one rebound in nearly 31 minutes of play.
Odom's wife, reality-TV star Khloe Kardashian, and his mother-in-law attended the award news conference in a hotel ballroom near the Lakers' Westside training complex. Odom and Kardashian starred in a reality series about their married life that was filmed down the stretch of the regular season and is currently airing on the E! network.