Pelicans' Gentry: When Clips fired me, Odom called to apologize
When the news of Lamar Odom's tragic health situation made the rounds, it was impossible to find an NBA player, coach or media member who had a single negative thing to say.
It's rare in any walk of life that you'll find someone who is universally liked, but Odom is in NBA circles. Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry told a story of just how uncommon Odom is during a conversation with Sean Deveney of Sporting News.
It was early March in 2003, and the Clippers, awash in youth and potential but unable to put aside personal agendas, were 19-39. Coach Alvin Gentry took the fall, and was fired from his post. Shortly after that, his phone rang.
It was Lamar Odom, the team’s star forward.
“He picked up the phone and called me up,” Gentry recalled Wednesday at Pelicans training camp. “He said, ‘I want to apologize because I feel like I am as responsible as anybody for getting you fired because I didn’t play the way I supposed to and I didn’t do what I was supposed to.’ I been in the league 27 years, and that’s happened once, OK? And it was Lamar Odom who did it.”