Lamar Odom

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Posted by pompos 04/27/2009 @ 16:09

Tags : lamar odom, basketball players, basketball, sports

News headlines
Andy Staples - SI.com
As his teammates passed around the Larry O'Brien trophy and mugged for the cameras, Lakers forward Lamar Odom leaned back in a stall and smiled. "I was visualizing this," he said. "This is what I've been dreaming about since I was 10 years old....
Lakers' Phil Jackson reminisces about the road traveled - Los Angeles Times
Lakers guards Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher step between Coach Phil Jackson and forward Lamar Odom during a heated timeout in Game 5 on Sunday. The coach never thought he would get a second chance with the team, and says he never anticipated he would be...
NBA finals redemption close for la's Gasol, Odom - The Associated Press
Gasol and fellow forward Lamar Odom have rebounded from their uneven performances in that series, a major reason the Los Angeles Lakers have a 3-1 lead over the Orlando Magic and a chance to wrap up a 15th championship Sunday....
SportsNation Blog Archives Lamar Odom - ESPN
Surprisingly, Lamar Odom fares equally poorly in both California and Florida (although he does better than most places in Pennsylvania, home of Hershey's). Other than players named Kobe and Dwight, what player has had the most impact on this series for...
So close, yet... actually, they're just so close - Los Angeles Times
Lamar Odom, who spent about a half hour dutifully fielding questions at his station on the floor, started very somber and businesslike. It's not over, these guys are tough, they'll come out fighting, take it possession by possession, and so on....
And So It Ends ... - Washington Post
(For me, I was really glad to see Lamar Odom win something) Wonder what the future holds for Dwight Howard, lebron James or the Celtics -- whether Kevin Garnett will ever be quite the same? I guess even when it ends, it never really ends for the true...
Random thoughts on game four - Examiner.com
Dwight Howard goes to line after being raped OZ style by Lamar Odom and Ariza. Howard bricks both free throws. It looks like Pat Ewing has already been working with him on his charity stripe game. I can't wait for Pat to teach the kid how to play in...
Inside Look at Lamar Odom's Candy Addiction - Diet Blog
by Gerald "Gerry" Pugliese Lamar Odom is a candy addict! Remember last week, we learned that the Los Angeles Lakers power forward fuels his body on mini-candy bars and Gummy Bears. He says eating candy before games helps him play better....
Rancho's Laker Golden Girls get their championship - Redlands Daily Facts
A newspaper clipping of Lamar Odom hanging on the rim. These doorways look dipped in purple and gold, makeshift shrines for a basketball team that won the NBA championship Sunday night. The ladies at Villa Pacifica are not your typical grandmas....
Lakers' Lamar Odom gives a lot and they ask for more - Los Angeles Times
Lamar Odom averaged 19.5 points, 11 rebounds and shot 51.8% in 32 minutes in Games 5 and 6 against the Nuggets. Fans and critics have high expectations, wanting more production, consistency and dominance from him. He will be asked to come off the bench...

Lamar Odom

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Lamar Joseph Odom (born November 6, 1979) is an American professional basketball player who currently plays at power forward for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association.

In his first three years of high school, Odom played for Christ The King Regional High School in Middle Village, New York. Due to frequent bullying from older brother Colton Odom, he transferred first to Redemption Christian Academy in Troy, New York for the basketball season and then to St. Thomas Aquinas Prep in New Britain, Connecticut. Odom was named the Parade Magazine Player of the Year in 1997. He was named to the USA Today All-USA 1st Team as a senior.

In 1997, Odom attended University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) and was enrolled in summer classes. Following an academic scandal, an NCAA inquiry found Odom received payments amounting to $5,600 from booster David Chapman. Coach Bill Bayno was fired and UNLV was placed on probation for four years. He also caused a firestorm after being cited for soliciting a prostitute. Odom transferred to the University of Rhode Island, but had to sit out the 1997-98 season.

Odom played one season at Rhode Island in the Atlantic 10 Conference, where he scored 17.6 points per game and led the Rams to the conference championship in 1999. His three-pointer against Temple at the buzzer gave the Rams their first A-10 Tournament title.

Odom declared his eligibility for the 1999 NBA Draft after his freshman year at the University of Rhode Island in 1999. The 6 foot 10 inch forward was selected by the Los Angeles Clippers with the fourth overall pick. In his first season with the Clippers, Odom averaged 16.6 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 4.2 assists per game and was named to the 2000 NBA All-Rookie First Team.

Odom was involved in controversy in November 2001 when he was suspended for violating the NBA's anti-drug policy for the second time in eight months. It is generally accepted that Odom's suspension was for use of marijuana, which is not subject to the NBA's harsher "Drugs of Abuse" rules. At the time, he owned up to smoking marijuana.

He was then a free agent and was acquired by the Miami Heat in the off-season.

Odom had a very notable season with the Miami Heat in which they made the playoffs after struggling all year with promising rookie Dwyane Wade. He had a very solid season compared to his sub-par season with the Clippers the previous year. After the season, Odom was traded in a package with Caron Butler and Brian Grant to the Los Angeles Lakers for All-Star Shaquille O'Neal.

In his first year with the Los Angeles Lakers, Odom and superstar Kobe Bryant never established the chemistry analysts might have expected the two dynamic players to build. Odom was then injured with a left shoulder injury which forced him to miss the rest of the 2004-05 NBA season.The Lakers finished out of the playoffs for only the 5th time in franchise history.

Following the disappointment of missing the playoffs, the Los Angeles Lakers re-hired former coach Phil Jackson in the 2005 offseason, in the hope that he could mold Odom into a Scottie Pippen-type player to run his triangle offense as a point forward, by which he meant a forward who could handle bringing the ball up the court, as Pippen was able to. In the first half of the 2005–06 NBA season, Odom displayed inconsistency while playing with the Lakers. However, as Los Angeles progressed towards the NBA playoffs, Odom played very well in preparing the Lakers for the playoffs. Along the way, he posted consecutive triple-doubles for the first time as a Laker against the Golden State Warriors and Portland Trail Blazers. The Lakers lost in the first round against the Phoenix Suns in 7 games after the Lakers had a 3-1 lead.

After young center Andrew Bynum went down with a knee injury during the 2007–08 NBA season, and Pau Gasol was acquired by the Lakers midseason, Odom put together his finest performance in his career, averaging 15.3 points, 12 rebounds, and 4 assists per game since Gasol's trade. Odom finished the season with 14.2 ppg 10.6 rpg and 3.5 apg.Odom's numbers were down in The Finals, however, where he averaged 13.5 points, 9.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game.

The next season proved to be yet another fine year for Odom. In the beginning of the season, Odom was moved back to the bench with some protest. When Bynum was hurt yet again playing against the Grizzlies in January, however, Odom returned to the starting lineup. Odom found great success in his temporary starting spot in Febraury. In that month, Odom - with his 36 minutes per game - averaged 16.5 points, 13.4 rebounds (4.9 offensive and 9.5 defensive), 2.4 assists, 1.4 blocks, as well as .9 steals. That February run included a spectacular night at the Quicken Loans Arena at Cleveland. With 15 points in the 3rd quarter (as a result of some aggressive offensive rebounding), Odom helped the Lakers claw out of a 10 point hole to turn it into a 10 point victory, breaking Cleveland's 23 game home win-streak. He finished the game with 28 points, 17 rebounds (7 of them grabbed on the offensive end) and 2 assists. Odom graciously returned to the bench when Bynum returned on an April 9 home-matchup versus Denver. Odom then finished his season with 11.3 points, 8.2 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 1.0 steals and 1.7 blocks with 29.7 minutes per game.

Odom played in the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens for the US national team, averaging 5.8 ppg en route to a bronze medal. He made 14 appearances for the US Team. He was invited to play for the FIBA World Championships for 2006 and 2007 but did not go because of the death of his son.

Odom was born in South Jamaica, Queens, New York. His father was a heroin addict and his mother died of colon cancer when he was twelve years old. He was raised by his grandmother Mildred.

Odom, his longtime girlfriend Liza Morales, their 10-year-old daughter, Destiny, and 7-year-old son, Lamar Jr., live in Manhattan Beach, California. On June 29 2006, Odom's 6½-month-old infant son Jayden died from SIDS while sleeping in his crib in New York.

Odom was recently featured in Pro Skater Rob Dyrdek's new MTV show "Fantasy Factory", and is planning to invest in an L.A. restaurant with Dyrdek. Odom also has his own music and film production company, Rich Soil Entertainment.

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1999 Atlantic 10 Men's Basketball Tournament

The 1999 Atlantic 10 Men's Basketball Tournament was played from March 3 to March 6, 1999. The tournament was played at the The Spectrum in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The winner was named champion of the Atlantic 10 Conference and received an automatic bid to the 1999 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament. The top two teams in each division received a first-round bye in the conference tournament. The University of Rhode Island won their first conference tournament after Lamar Odom of Rhode Island made a 3-point 'buzzer beater' to beat Temple. Temple and George Washington also received bids to the NCAA Tournament. Lamar Odom was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player. Future NBA player Mark Karcher of Temple was among those also named to the All-Championship Team. Odom would also go on to play in the NBA.

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Los Angeles Clippers

Los Angeles Clippers logo

The Los Angeles Clippers are a professional basketball team based in Los Angeles, California. They play in the National Basketball Association (NBA) and are members of the NBA Western Conference's Pacific Division. The club's home games are played at the Staples Center, which they share with the Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Sparks.

The Clippers began in 1970 as the Buffalo Braves. They were one of three franchises that joined the NBA in the 1970–71 season; the others were the Portland Trail Blazers and Cleveland Cavaliers.

The Braves, in their eight seasons in Buffalo, played their home games at the Buffalo Memorial Auditorium, sharing the arena with another new franchise, the Buffalo Sabres of the National Hockey League, who also debuted in 1970. The team's first head coach was Hall of Famer Dolph Schayes, the franchise's first star players were Bob Kauffman and Don May, who were acquired in the 1970 NBA Expansion Draft. However, in the NBA Draft of 1970, Buffalo passed on hometown hero Calvin Murphy, a 5 foot 9 point guard from Niagara University. Murphy would eventually be inducted into the Hall Of Fame. As typical of first-year expansion teams, the Braves finished with a dismal record, going 22-60, seven games ahead of expansion-mate Cleveland, which finished its season at 15-67. Kauffman, who averaged 4.3 points per game the previous year with the Chicago Bulls, led Buffalo in scoring with 20.4 points per game and earned a spot on the 1971 NBA Eastern Conference All-Star team.

The Braves repeated their 22-60 record in the following 1971-72 season, but did make good acquisitions that would make the club better. Buffalo drafted center Elmore Smith from Kentucky State University, and local favorite Randy Smith, from Buffalo State College. Schayes was replaced one game into the season with John McCarthy as the team's head coach. The team did not do much better in the 1972-73 season, as they went 21-61 under new head coach, Dr. Jack Ramsay. The Braves' big move that season was drafting forward/center Bob McAdoo, from North Carolina. The team finally made its first playoff appearance in 1973-74, where they faced the Boston Celtics in the first round and lost in six games.

In 1974-75, Bob McAdoo was awarded the NBA Most Valuable Player Award, averaging 34.5 points, 14.1 rebounds and 2.12 blocks per game, while shooting 51.2 percent from the field and 80.5 percent from the free-throw line. The Braves made a trip to the playoffs in the 1974–75 season and again during the 1975-76 season, which would be one of their last in Buffalo.

During the last four seasons, the Braves played a total of 16 games in Toronto, Ontario at Maple Leaf Gardens in the hopes of expanding their fan base from Western New York to also include the Greater Toronto Area.

By the summer of 1976, the team's founding owner Paul Snyder was doing all he could to sell the team. The June 15, 1976 issue of Buffalo's Courier-Express blasted the headline "Braves Go to Florida, Leaving 'Hockey Town'." Snyder had a handshake deal to sell the team to Mr. and Mrs. Irving Cowan, who would move the Braves to Hollywood, Florida, yet the City of Buffalo filed a $10 million damage suit to block the move. The sale eventually fell through and the Braves and the city signed a new 15 year Memorial Auditorium lease in July with a provision that the lease could be voided if the team did not sell 5,000 season tickets in any season. Later that summer Snyder finally sold 50 percent of the franchise to businessman John Y. Brown, Jr., who had previously owned the Kentucky Colonels of the American Basketball Association. Brown later acquired the remaining half from Snyder sometime in the 1976-77 season. Brown, in turn, sold a percentage of the team to another businessman, Harry T. Mangurian, Jr. who later went on to own a portion of the Boston Celtics in the 1980s. However, a provision in the transaction stipulated that if Brown sold the contract of any Braves player, then the money would go to Snyder and the purchase price would be reduced. This subsequently occurred when the Braves sent McAdoo to the New York Knicks for players and cash midway through the 1976–77 season.

Because of the team's poor play in its final two years (30–52 in 1976–77 and 27–55 in 1977-78), along with rumors of the franchise relocating because of low season ticket sales, John Y. Brown met with the then-owner of the Celtics, Irv Levin and negotiated a deal in which the owners would swap franchises, in which Brown would take control of the Celtics and Levin would get the Braves. Levin was a California businessman, and wanted to own an NBA team in his native state. The deal was brokered by David Stern, the general counsel for the NBA who later became the league's commissioner in 1984. Following what would be the final season in western New York, the NBA owners voted 21-1 to let the Braves relocate. They moved to San Diego, California after the 1977-78 season, and became the San Diego Clippers.

In the team's first season in San Diego, the Clippers posted a winning record, going 43-39, under new head coach Gene Shue. However, that record was not good enough to advance them to the post-season, finishing two games out of the final playoff spot. As it turned out, it would be the Clippers' last winning season for 13 years. It was also in that first season in Southern California that long-time announcer Ralph Lawler began his association with the club. Randy Smith had another solid season, averaging 20.5 points per game, finishing second behind World B. Free, who was acquired in the offseason from the Philadelphia 76ers. Free finished second overall in NBA scoring average, with 28.8 per game, while George Gervin of the San Antonio Spurs had a 29.6 average.

The 1979-80 season was not much better, as the Clippers began to struggle, but not before they brought in San Diego native, center Bill Walton, who was two years removed from an NBA championship with the Trail Blazers. Walton was not much of an impact unfortunately, due to missing 68 games because of foot injuries, which he also suffered in his final years in Portland. San Diego managed to finish with a record of 35-47, despite the fact that many of their key players missed games due to injuries. Free continued his great scoring, again finishing second in league scoring, with 30.2 PPG. Paul Silas replaced Shue the following season, and the Clippers finished with a 36-46 record, once again missing the postseason. Walton missed the entire season once again due to chronic foot injuries. Free was traded to the Golden State Warriors in exchange for guard Phil Smith.

The 1981-82 season brought more changes to the Clipper franchise as Irv Levin sold the team to Los Angeles-area real estate developer and attorney Donald Sterling for $20 million. The Clippers' poor play in their final years in San Diego resulted in poor attendance with the team averaging only 4,500 fans per game. Sterling subsequently lobbied the NBA to relocate the team to his native Los Angeles.

In 1984, the Clippers moved north to Los Angeles, playing at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena. The Clippers, under head coach Jim Lynam finished with a disappointing 31-51 record.

The Clippers were mired in haplessness for the next seven seasons, including a 12-70 record in the 1986-87 season, at the time the second-worst single-season record in NBA history. Marques Johnson and guard Norm Nixon were both injured. That season also brought in Hall of Famer Elgin Baylor as the team's general manager and vice president of basketball operations. In the 1989-90 season, Baylor made a trade with the Cavaliers that brought Ron Harper in exchange for forward Danny Ferry and swingman Reggie Williams. That move, along with the 1987 NBA Draft of Ken Norman from the University of Illinois, the 1988 draftings of Kansas forward Danny Manning and Charles Smith of Pitt (Smith was acquired from Philadelphia in exchange for the draft rights of guard Hersey Hawkins), and the 1990 NBA Draft of Loy Vaught from Michigan, formed a nucleus that made the franchise a playoff contender.

Midway through the 1991-92 season, the Clippers made yet another coaching change. Larry Brown, who was fired by the Spurs weeks before, was hired as the team's head coach in late January 1992. He replaced Mike Schuler, who had led the team to a 22-25 record before his firing. Brown finished the season with a 23-12 mark, for an overall record of 45-37. It was the franchise's first winning season in 13 years. The team also achieved a first that season: for the first time since moving to Los Angeles, the Clippers finished with a better record than the crosstown Los Angeles Lakers. The Clippers advanced to the playoffs for the first time in 16 years (since the franchise's Buffalo heyday), but were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs by the Utah Jazz, 3-2. Due to the late April 1992 Los Angeles riots, Anaheim Convention Center was the site of Game 4 of the series, which the Clippers won. The team made the playoffs again in the 1992-93 season with a 41-41 regular season record, but lost again in five games in the first round, this time to the Houston Rockets.

Brown left the Clippers to become the Indiana Pacers head coach, and Bob Weiss was brought in to replace him. That 1993-94 season proved to be one of the worst seasons in Los Angeles NBA history, with both the Clippers and Lakers going a combined 60-104 in the regular season. After one year on the job, Weiss was fired, and veteran head coach Bill Fitch was brought in to guide a roster of young and inexperienced players. The Clippers continued to make frequent roster and coaching changes throughout the next several years with only one playoff appearance in 1997, under Fitch. That team made the playoffs with a losing record (36-46) and were swept in the first round by the eventual Western Conference Champion Jazz, 3 games to none.

From 1994 to 1999, the Clippers played selected home games in the Arrowhead Pond of Anaheim, sharing the venue with the NHL's Mighty Ducks and the Splash indoor soccer team. It was speculated that the Clippers might move to play in Anaheim full time.

However, in 1999, the Clippers instead joined the Lakers and Los Angeles Kings to christen the new Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles. It was in that first season at Staples Center that the Clippers drafted highly-touted, but oft-troubled, star forward Lamar Odom from the University of Rhode Island. The Clippers finished with a dismal 15-67 record. The team hired former All-Star (and Los Angeles native) Dennis Johnson as an assistant coach, as well as Hall of Fame former Laker great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to help tutor second-year center Michael Olowokandi. Johnson remained an assistant coach until the middle of the 2002-03 season, when he took over as head coach. Abdul-Jabbar lasted only one season on the job.

The 2000-01 season brought more changes. Reserve forward Derek Strong was sent to the Orlando Magic in exchange for second-year forward Corey Maggette and the draft rights to guard Keyon Dooling from Missouri. The Clippers' two draft picks that year were childhood friends from Illinois: high schooler Darius Miles from East St. Louis (3rd overall pick) and Quentin Richardson, a guard/forward from DePaul University (18th overall pick). The team became popular among fans with their high-flying style of basketball and the Clippers did improve a bit with a 31-51 record, leading the NBA in bench-scoring with 37 points per game.

To improve upon the previous season, the Clippers acquired high-scoring and rebounding power forward Elton Brand from the Chicago Bulls in exchange for the draft rights to Los Angeles-area native and high schooler Tyson Chandler. At this point of his career, Brand had career averages of 20 points and 10 rebounds per game in just two seasons. Brand's hard work and accomplishments earned him a spot on the 2002 NBA Western Conference All-Star team as an injury replacement for center Shaquille O'Neal of the Lakers. The Clippers contended for most of the season, but won only 3 out of their last 13 games and finished 39-43, 5 games out of the final playoff position.

The 2002 offseason brought more changes, as Miles was traded to the Cavaliers in exchange for point guard Andre Miller, who led the NBA in assists in 2001-02 with 11 per game. Suddenly, with a good point guard in Miller, the playmaker Lamar Odom at small forward, one of the league's best power forwards, Elton Brand, the emerging center Michael Olowokandi, and a very good supporting cast off the bench, the Clippers could actually make a serious run for the playoffs. However, with poor team chemistry and injuries (the Clippers lost 293 man-games to injury), the Clippers finished with a very disappointing 27-55 record. Head coach Alvin Gentry was replaced by Dennis Johnson midway through the 2002-03 season.

In the 2003-04 season, the Clippers lost many of their core players to free agency (Miller, Odom, Olowokandi, and forward Eric Piatkowski--one of the longest-tenured players in Clippers history, while opting to retain Brand and Maggette with long-term contracts. They, along with Richardson, made up one of the NBA best high-scoring trios, with a combined 58 points per game. With new head coach Mike Dunleavy, Sr., the Clippers finished at 28-54, a lot due to inexperience and injuries.

The 2004-05 season saw the Clippers, although also missing the playoffs, finish with a better record than the Lakers for the first time since 1993 and have great hope for the future, with young rising stars such as Brand, Corey Maggette and Shaun Livingston. Bobby Simmons won the 2004-05 NBA Most Improved Player award after averaging 16 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 assists per game. As a result of that, Simmons cashed in on his newfound fame, and signed a 5-year, $47 million deal with the Milwaukee Bucks in July 2005, playing closer to his hometown of Chicago.

To counter Simmons' defection to Milwaukee, the Clippers announced days later that they would sign guard Cuttino Mobley to a contract similar in years (5) but less in money ($42 million) to what Simmons received from the Bucks. Mobley was the first significant free agent signing from outside the organization since Bill Walton in late 1970s. Mobley officially signed his contract on August 3, 2005.

More deals were made, most notably on August 12, 2005, where the Clippers traded guards Marko Jaric (in a sign and trade transaction) and Lionel Chalmers to the Minnesota Timberwolves in exchange for guard Sam Cassell and a lottery-protected 1st round pick in the 2006 NBA Draft. In relation to the lottery-protected pick, in order for the Clippers to acquire the pick, the Timberwolves would have to make the playoffs, or else Minnesota retains its draft pick.

During the summer of 2005, the Clippers announced that they would build a state-of-the-art practice facility (the first NBA practice facility within the four corners of the City of Los Angeles) in the Playa Vista development. Several current players on the Clippers' lineup live in the planned community. According to the Clippers' website, the new facility will open its doors for community programs in the off-season and will be surrounded by other community parks and recreation.

The 2005-06 season was a turning point for the team's overall image; a hot start marked by several wins over top teams caught the attention of many fans. Before the 2005-06 season, the Clippers drafted young Yaroslav Korolev. Elton Brand was chosen as a reserve power forward for the All-Star Game and articles have been run in many sports magazines giving recognition to the much improved team. Just before the NBA trading deadline, the Clippers traded power forward Chris Wilcox to the Seattle SuperSonics for forward Vladimir Radmanović. The Clippers had been lacking consistent outside shooting which is what they were looking for in the trade.

While the Clippers had a few stretches of poor play this season, resulting in some frustrating losses, they nonetheless were able to maintain a solid record, including posting several winning streaks. The Clippers achieved their first winning record in 14 seasons and clinched their first playoff spot since 1997. The Clippers also finished with a better record than the Lakers for the second straight year.

By finishing sixth in the Western Conference, with a record of 47-35 (their best finish since the team left Buffalo), the Clippers benefitted from the current NBA playoff format of regular season records taking precedence over winning the division, and secured home court advantage over the Denver Nuggets instead of travelling to Denver for four games as a #6 seed would usually be expected to do. On April 12, 2006 the Clippers were #5 seed and would have played against the Dallas Mavericks in the playoffs, but the Clippers lost 5 of their next 7 games and the Memphis Grizzlies clinched the #5 position instead.

On April 22, 2006, the Clippers won their first NBA playoff game in 13 years. Two days later, they won their second playoff game, going 2-0 against an opponent for the first time in franchise history. Although they won the first 2 games, they lost Game 3, but they won Game 4. On Monday, May 1, 2006 they won Game 5 in Los Angeles and their first playoff series since they moved from Buffalo.

The team faced the Phoenix Suns in the Western Conference semi-finals. After losing in game one (130-123 in Phoenix), the Clippers beat the Suns in an impressive 122–97 victory in Game 2. The series shifted to Staples Center for game 3, and the Suns beat the Clippers, 94–91, as Suns forward Shawn Marion scored 32 points and grabbed a game-high 19 rebounds. In game four, Elton Brand posted 30 points, nine rebounds, and eight assists as the Clippers evened the series on May 14, 2006 with a 114–107 victory over the Suns. In game five, Suns guard/forward Raja Bell made a key 3-pointer with 1.1 seconds left in the first overtime to send the game into a second overtime. Phoenix beat Los Angeles in this double-overtime "thriller" game, 125–118.

The double-overtime loss for the Clippers, to say the least, was devastating, but they bounced back with a convincing, series-saving 118-106 Game 6 win over the Suns. Second-year defensive specialist Quinton Ross had a timely offensive game, scoring a then career-high 18 points. Elton Brand had another excellent contribution, with 30 points (his scoring average in this particular series), 12 rebounds, three assists, and five blocks. Corey Maggette came off the bench to score 25 points, with 7–8 shooting from the field, and 9–9 from the free throw line. Chris Kaman and Sam Cassell each scored 15 points apiece. Marion once again led Phoenix in scoring, with 34 points, with reserve guard Leandro Barbosa scoring 25 points off the bench for the Suns. The Clippers lost the seventh game to Phoenix 127–107.

General Manager (and Basketball Hall of Fame member) Elgin Baylor won the NBA Executive of the Year award for his leading the Clippers to the playoffs.

The 2006 off-season started as the team drafted center Paul Davis from Michigan State University in the second round of the 2006 NBA Draft, as the 34th overall pick. The pick was acquired by the Clippers by way of a 2004 trade with the Charlotte Bobcats for center/forward Melvin Ely. The team also drafted guard Guillermo Diaz from the University of Miami as the 52nd overall pick. While Davis signed with the team in July, Diaz was not signed, and decided to play overseas. However, the team still holds his draft rights. The Clippers did not have a pick in the 2006 draft's first round.

Meanwhile in free agency, on July 13, 2006, the Clippers scored a major coup, by signing forward Tim Thomas away from divisional rival Phoenix, in a four-year, $24 million deal. That was to counter the defection of forward Vladimir Radmanović to the crosshall Lakers in a somewhat similar deal to what Thomas got from the Clippers, except Radmanovic signed for an extra year, but both players would make the same amount of money annually, which would be $6 million.

Also on July 13, guard Sam Cassell (widely credited as the biggest reason for the Clippers' recent success) signed a two-year, $13 million deal. Cassell stated in interviews that once he retires, which would be likely after this contract runs out, he would like to join the Clippers' coaching staff under Mike Dunleavy, Sr. Also, on August 1, the team signed veteran forward/center Aaron Williams (previously with the then-New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets) to an undisclosed deal. Williams played for Dunleavy with the Milwaukee Bucks in the 1994-95 season.

To further their television commitment to their local fans, on August 11, the Clippers and KTLA-TV announced a three-year contract extension, which would increase KTLA's annual 25-game commitment to 30 games a year, plus selected playoff games not airing exclusively on ABC or TNT. Just like during the last two seasons, KTLA will air all of its Staples Center-based Clippers telecasts in high definition. Until recently, they were the only local team to currently air its over-the-air broadcasts in HDTV; KCAL-TV aired its first HDTV Lakers broadcast on February 2, 2007, versus the Indiana Pacers at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. Fifteen of the 30 annual KTLA telecasts air on KSWB-TV in San Diego, KTLA's sister station; although KTLA is already available on cable in the San Diego market.

The increased demand for Clippers games has also led to the scheduling of twelve true nationally-televised Clippers games on TNT and ESPN. The team will also have eight additional games on NBA TV; NBA TV normally uses the home team telecast's video feed and announcers, while using its own on-screen score and graphics, therefore, their presentations are not considered true, self-produced national broadcasts, such as the case with ESPN, TNT, and ABC. This brings the total of nationally-televised games to 20, the most ever in franchise history.

On September 7, the Clippers announced a radio broadcast deal with KSPN-AM, the local ESPN Radio-operated outlet.

The team, though, did not fully perform to expectations, in comparison to the previous season. A lot of this has been attributed to lack of a team chemistry and injuries to several key players, including Cassell, Thomas, Livingston, and Kaman. Players such as Luke Jackson, Alvin Williams, and Doug Christie were signed to 10-day contracts to help solidify the team's bench. Jackson and Alvin Williams only lasted through portions of the January schedule and each had limited playing time, while Christie signed with the team on January 31. Christie was not retained, and was suspended on the final day of his second 10-day contract with the team, due to Christie's desire to not return to the team, because of the team's lack of on-court direction. Christie was released from the team on February 21.

Adding to the woes of the disappointing 2006-2007 season, guard Shaun Livingston suffered a dislocated left knee in which he tore every ligament in his knee. This was one of the most devastating injuries this season that consequently left him a player that would never be the same. This occurred with 8:10 left in the first quarter of a home game versus the Charlotte Bobcats on February 26, 2007 at Staples Center, as Livingston was driving to the basket, where he missed the lay-up, and came down awkwardly on his left knee. The extent of the injury was so severe, local news outlets such as KCBS-TV/KCAL-TV and KNBC-TV elected not to air the clip of Livingston's injury on their sports reports. According to the team's lead physican, Dr. Tony Daly, Livingston's prognosis for him to return to basketball activity from the point in time of his injury is eight months (which would put it at around the first week of the upcoming season) to a full calendar year. The Clippers, which were expected by many to make the playoffs again after their surprise appearance the season before, finished the season 40–42, 2 games behind the 8th-seeded Warriors. The Lakers finished with a better record than the Clippers for the first time since the 2003-04 NBA season. On May 22, the Clippers received the fourteenth draft pick from the NBA lottery. The draft was on June 28 in New York. The Clippers selected Al Thornton a combo forward from Florida State University. The Clippers used their second-round pick to draft a point guard Jared Jordan with their 45th pick.

The 2007-08 season started off on a negative note, with Elton Brand on the disabled list because of a ruptured left Achilles tendon, and Shaun Livingston still out with the injury he sustained from the previous year. Brand missed most of the 2007-08 year, and the Clippers struggled to stay competitive in the Western Conference. Chris Kaman was one of the lone bright spots for the Clippers, and took advantage of a depleted roster by averaging 15.7 points and 12.7 rebounds per game throughout the season, but was limited to playing 56 games due to various injuries. The Clippers ended the season with a record of 23–59, 12th in the Western Conference and last in the Pacific Division.

The Clippers saw the departure of several players, including Elton Brand and Corey Maggette, and acquisitions of ten players either by draft, free agency or trades.

On July 1, 2008, Baron Davis, a Los Angeles native and formerly of the Golden State Warriors, verbally agreed to and signed (on July 10) a five-year contract with the Clippers, worth an estimated $65 million.

After a disappointing 2007–08 season, the Clippers obtained the 7th pick in the 2008 NBA Draft, and selected Eric Gordon out of Indiana University. The team also selected DeAndre Jordan from Texas A&M University in the second round (35th overall pick). Another second-round pick, Mike Taylor from the NBA D-League's Idaho Stampede and Iowa State University (55th overall pick), was acquired from the Portland Trail Blazers in exchange for a future second-round pick. Gordon officially signed with the team on July 7, while Jordan and Taylor both signed on July 15.

Also on July 15, the Clippers acquired forward–center Marcus Camby from the Denver Nuggets in return for a $10 million trade exception and the choice to exchange second round picks with the Clippers in 2010. On July 23, the Clippers also acquired guard Jason Hart from the Utah Jazz in exchange for guard Brevin Knight. On July 28, the Clippers signed guard Ricky Davis to a one-year deal, with a player option for a second year . The Clippers continued their active offseason with signing reserve forward–center (and one-time Clipper) Brian Skinner on July 31, and traded for reserve forward Steve Novak on August 6 for future second-round pick considerations, in a deal similar to the Camby trade.

On August 7, the team signed guard Jason Williams from the Miami Heat to a one-year deal.

Recently, the Los Angeles Clippers re-signed forward Paul Davis. The Clippers signed three Davis' (Baron, Ricky, and Paul) in their "rebuilding offseason" in which they obtained key players such as Baron Davis, Marcus Camby, Ricky Davis, and Jason Williams. However, just prior to the start of training camp, Williams announced his retirement on September 26.

On October 7, according to reports from various sources including the Los Angeles Times, Orange County Register, and the team's own web site (Clippers.com), Elgin Baylor ended his 22-year reign as vice president and general manager of basketball operations. It was one of the longest such tenures in professional sports history. The Clippers have indicated that Baylor had retired from his post, and as a result, head coach Mike Dunleavy, Sr. will also assume the role as general manager, while director of player personnel Neil Oshley is promoted to assistant general manager.

In many of those same reports, including a related article in the October 8 edition of the Times, it was also indicated that Baylor had either been fired, resigned, or retired, depending on the source. According to similar reports, Baylor had been offered a different position in the organization, with the same salary, but with little to none decision-making power; Baylor refused. In fact, when pressed about his stauts with the franchise, Baylor had been advised by his attorneys not to say anything, indicating that the team and Baylor are in negotiations to work out a settlement agreement based on his departure. According to the above-mentioned article, Baylor had been working without a formal contract since the early 1990s.

On November 21, the Clippers and New York Knicks made a trade, in which Los Angeles sends forward Tim Thomas and guard Cuttino Mobley to New York, in exchange for forward Zach Randolph and reserve guard Mardy Collins. With the trade of Mobley, only one member of their 2005-06 playoff team remains on the roster--starting center Chris Kaman. On December 11, Mobley announced his retirement due to the heart condition known as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Mobley has yet to play a game for the New York Knicks after the trade.

On January 6, the Los Angeles Clippers waived Fred Jones & Paul Davis to open a roster spot for Center from Senegal Cheikh Samb (the Clippers have since re-signed Jones).

McAdoo and Randy Smith (G, 1972-79, 1983-84) are also members of the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame. Walton, a native of the San Diego area, is also a member of the San Diego Hall of Champions.

On March 1, 2006 the Clippers held the New Orleans Hornets to an NBA record low 16 points in the second half of play. Since the introduction of the shot clock, no point total for a half had been lower than 19. Coincidentally, one of three teams to have such a low point total in a half was the Clippers.

On March 23, 2007 the Utah Jazz (44-23 at the time) lost to the Clippers (32-36 coming into the match) 104-72 in Los Angeles. That was the largest margin of defeat by an NBA team at least 20 games over .500 to a team under .500 since the Houston Rockets lost to the Orlando Magic 114-82 on March 30, 1991.

The Clippers are currently the oldest NBA team to never appear in the NBA Finals.

The Clippers are one of three teams (along with the Memphis Grizzlies and the Charlotte Bobcats) to have never won an NBA Championship, Conference Championship, or a Division Championship in their franchise's history.

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Phil Jackson

Phil Jackson (center) coaching the Lakers

Philip Douglas "Phil" Jackson (born September 17, 1945 in Deer Lodge, Montana) is a former American professional basketball player and the current head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers. Jackson is widely considered one of the greatest coaches in the history of the National Basketball Association (NBA). His reputation was established as head coach of the Chicago Bulls from 1989 through 1998; during his tenure, Chicago won six NBA titles. His next team, the Los Angeles Lakers, won three consecutive NBA titles from 2000-2002. In total, Jackson has won 9 NBA titles as a coach, a record shared with Red Auerbach.

Jackson is known for his use of Tex Winter's triangle offense as well as a holistic approach to coaching that is influenced by Eastern philosophy, earning him the nickname "Zen Master". (Jackson cites Robert Pirsig's book Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance as one of the major guiding forces in his life. His fond admiration for the book is the source of his nickname "Zen Master.") He also applies Native American spiritual practices as documented in his book "Sacred Hoops." He is the author of several candid books about his teams and his basketball strategies. Jackson is also a recipient of the state of North Dakota's Roughrider Award. Jackson leads the 2007 class of the Basketball Hall of Fame. Jackson regularly attempts to alter his appearance so the media cannot use old photos of him for recent news, and, true to his word, as of September 2008, he was no longer sporting his illustrious, white mustache, which saw 9 NBA titles.

Both of Jackson's parents, Charles and Elisabeth Jackson, were Assemblies of God ministers. In the churches they served, his father generally preached on Sunday mornings and his mother on Sunday evenings. Eventually, his father would become a ministerial supervisor. Phil, his two brothers, and his half-sister grew up in an extremely austere environment, in which no movies, dancing, or television (once there was a TV station where they lived) were allowed. He did not see his first movie until he was a senior in high school, and went to a dance for the first time in college.

Phil Jackson attended high school in Williston, North Dakota where he played varsity basketball and led the team to two state titles. He also played football, was a pitcher in baseball, and threw the discus. His older brother Chuck speculated years later that the three Jackson sons, including Phil, threw themselves passionately into athletics because it was the only time they were allowed to do what other children were doing. Phil attracted the attention of several baseball scouts. Their notes found their way to future NBA coach Bill Fitch, who had previously coached baseball, and had been doing some scouting for the Atlanta Braves. Fitch took over as head basketball coach at The University of North Dakota in the spring of 1962, during Jackson's junior year of high school.

Fitch successfully recruited him to UND, after dinner and a movie over a glass of wine, where he was a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity. Jackson did well there, helping the Fighting Sioux to third- and fourth-place finishes in the NCAA Division II tournament in his sophomore and junior years (1965 and 1966). Both years, they would be beaten by Southern Illinois. This was the era in which Jackson's future Knicks teammate Walt Frazier was the Salukis' biggest star, but the two only faced off in 1965, as Frazier was academically ineligible in 1966. In college, Phil majored in Religion, Philosophy, and Psychology.

In Williston, North Dakota, where Jackson attended high school, a sports complex is named after him.

In 1967, Jackson was drafted in the second round by the New York Knicks. While he was a good all-around athlete, with unusually long arms, he was very limited offensively. He compensated for his offensive limitations with sheer intelligence and hard work, especially on defense, and eventually established himself as a fan favorite and one of the NBA's leading substitutes. He was a top reserve on the Knicks team that won the NBA title in 1973 (Jackson missed being part of New York's 1970 championship season due to spinal fusion surgery, however, he authored a book entitled "Take It All" which was a photo diary of the Knicks' 1970 Championship run). Soon after the second title, several key starters of the championship teams retired, eventually forcing Jackson into the starting lineup. He lived in Leonia, New Jersey. After going across the Hudson to the New Jersey Nets in 1978 and playing there for two seasons, he retired from play in 1980.

In the 1974-75 NBA season, the Knicks' Phil Jackson and the Milwaukee Bucks' Bob Dandridge shared the lead for total personal fouls, with 330 each.

In the following years, he mainly coached in lower-level professional leagues, notably the Continental Basketball Association and Puerto Rico's National Superior Basketball (BSN). While in the CBA, he won his first coaching championship, leading the Albany Patroons to their first CBA title. He regularly sought an NBA job, but was invariably turned down; during his playing years, he had acquired a reputation for being sympathetic to the counterculture, which may have scared off potential NBA employers. Most notably, while still playing for the Knicks in 1975, he had detailed his experimentation with LSD in an early autobiography, Maverick.

Jackson was hired as assistant coach for the Bulls in 1987, and promoted to head coach in 1989. It was around this time that he met Tex Winter and became a devotee of Winter's triangle offense. Over 9 seasons, Jackson coached the Bulls to 6 championships in impressive fashion, twice winning three straight championships over separate three year periods. The "three-peat" was the first since the Boston Celtics won eight titles in a row from 1959 through 1966.

Jackson and the Bulls made the playoffs every year, and failed to win the title only three times. Jackson lost in his first season in 1990. Michael Jordan's first retirement after the 1993 season marked the end of the first "three-peat," and although Jordan returned just before the 1995 playoffs, it was not enough to prevent a playoff exit to the rising Orlando Magic.

The chemistry developed between Jackson and the players was one of the best in NBA history. The respect shared between the players and the coach was the key factor in being able to build up a dynasty. While Jordan was already long considered the most dominant player, Jackson was also credited as one of the most important elements in the Bulls' championships and his work earned him league-wide recognition. His relationship with Michael Jordan is considered to be one of the greatest player-coach relationship in NBA history, with Jackson claiming multiple times that Jordan was the greatest player he ever coached.

After the Bulls' final title of the Jordan era in 1998, Jackson left the team vowing never to coach again. However, after taking a year off, he decided to give it another chance with the Los Angeles Lakers from 1999 to 2004 and again from 2005 to the present.

Jackson took over a talented but troubled Lakers team and immediately produced results. In his first year in L.A., the Lakers went 67-15 during the regular season to top the league. Reaching the conference finals, they dispatched the Portland Trail Blazers in a tough seven-game series and then won the 2000 NBA championship by beating the Indiana Pacers.

Titles in 2001 and 2002 followed, against the Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Nets, adding up to a three-peat. The main serious challenge the Lakers faced was from their conference rival, the Sacramento Kings.

However, injuries, weak bench play, and full-blown public tension between Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal slowed the team down, and they were beaten in the second round of the 2003 NBA Playoffs by the eventual champion San Antonio Spurs.

Afterward, Jackson clashed frequently with Bryant. While remarkably efficient in Jackson's "triangle offense", Bryant had a personal distaste for Jackson's brand of basketball and subsequently called it "boring." In games, Bryant would often disregard the set offense completely to experiment with his own one-on-one moves, incensing the normally calm Jackson. Bryant managed to test Jackson's patience enough that the "Zen Master" even demanded that Bryant be traded, although Laker management rejected the request.

Prior to the 2003–04 season, the Lakers signed NBA star veterans Karl Malone and Gary Payton, who had been franchise players for the Utah Jazz and the Seattle SuperSonics, respectively, leading to predictions by some that the team would finish with the best record in NBA history. But from the first day of training camp, the Lakers were beset by distractions. Bryant's rape trial, continued public sniping between O'Neal and Bryant, and repeated disputes between Jackson and Bryant all affected the team during the season. Despite these distractions, the Lakers beat the defending champion Spurs en route to advancing to the NBA Final and were heavy favorites to regain the title. However, they were stunned by the Detroit Pistons, who utterly dominated the series and defeated the Lakers four games to one.

On June 18, 2004, three days after Jackson had suffered his first-ever loss in an NBA Finals series, the Lakers announced that Jackson would leave his position as Lakers coach. Many fans attributed Jackson's departure directly to the wishes of Bryant, as Lakers owner Dr. Jerry Buss reportedly sided with Bryant. Jackson, Bryant and Buss all denied that Bryant had made any explicit demand regarding Jackson. However, O'Neal, upon hearing General Manager Mitch Kupchak's announcement of the team's willingness to trade O'Neal and its intention to keep Bryant, indicated that he felt the franchise was indeed pandering to Bryant's wishes with the departure of Jackson. O'Neal's trade to the Miami Heat was the end of the "Trifecta" that had led the Lakers to three championship titles.

Without Jackson and O'Neal the Lakers were forced to become a faster paced team on the court. Though they achieved some success in the first half of the season, injuries to several players including stars Kobe Bryant and Lamar Odom forced the team out of contention, going 34-48 in 2004–05 and missing the playoffs for the first time in eleven years. Jackson's successor as coach, Rudy Tomjanovich, resigned midway through the season, citing health issues, immediately leading to speculation that the Lakers might bring Jackson back.

On June 15, 2005, the Lakers rehired Phil Jackson. Jackson took a Laker squad that was mediocre, aside from superstar Kobe Bryant, and led them to a seventh-seed playoff berth. Once again promoting the notion of selfless team play embodied by the triangle offense, the team achieved substantial results, especially in the last month of the season. Jackson also worked seamlessly with Bryant, who had earlier shown his willingness to bring back Jackson to the bench. Bryant's regular-season performance won him the league scoring title and made him a finalist in MVP voting. However, the Lakers faced a tough 2006 first-round matchup against the second-seeded Phoenix Suns, who were led by eventual MVP winner Steve Nash. It was the first time that Jackson's team had failed to reach the second round of the playoffs. The Lakers jumped out to a 3-1 lead following a dramatic last second shot by Bryant in overtime to win game four, but the Suns recovered to win the last three and take the series. Many consider the seven game contest to be among the greatest first-round series in NBA history.

Jackson's main tactical contribution, both with the Bulls and the Lakers, was the modernization of the triangle offense. He is also noted as a gifted handler of difficult players, notably Dennis Rodman and Kwame Brown. Jackson currently makes $10,000,000 a year, making him the highest paid coach in NBA history.

On January 7, 2007, Jackson won his 900th game, currently placing him 9th on the all-time win list for NBA coaches. With this win, Jackson became the fastest to reach 900 career wins, doing so in only 1,264 games and beating Pat Riley's previous record of 900 in 1,278 games.

On December 12, 2007, after announcing he would return to his position as coach just a few days prior, Phil Jackson inked a 2-year contract extension to continue his tenure with the Los Angeles Lakers through the end of the 2009-2010 season.

Jackson has a total of 11 NBA championship rings: two as a player with the New York Knicks, six as coach of the Bulls, and three as coach of the Lakers. Nine NBA championships as a head coach ties him with Red Auerbach for the all-time lead in that category. Phil Jackson also holds the best playoff winning percentage of all-time. As of the end of the 2007–08 NBA season, Jackson's regular season record stands at 976-418.

He coached the Lakers in the 2008 NBA Finals against the Boston Celtics. Boston won the series in game 6 of the NBA finals, beating the Lakers in the final game in Boston.

On Christmas Day of 2008, Jackson became the 6th coach to win 1000 games, with the Lakers defeating the Celtics in their first match up of the 2008-2009 season after losing to them in the 2008 NBA Finals. He was the fastest to win 1000 games surpassing Pat Riley who had taken 11 more games than Jackson.

Along with being called the "Zen Master", Jackson is known as the master of mind games. In the Laker film room before the 2000 playoffs, Jackson displayed images of Edward Norton's character from the movie American History X, who has a bald head and a tattoo of a swastika, alternating with photos with Sacramento's white, shaved-headed and tattooed point guard, Jason Williams. Jackson then displayed pictures of Adolf Hitler alternately appearing with Sacramento coach Rick Adelman. When Rick Adelman learned of this, he openly questioned Jackson's motivational techniques saying Jackson had "crossed the line". Nevertheless, the Lakers went on to win the series and the championship.

In addition, in the 2001 NBA Finals against the Philadelphia 76ers, Jackson had Tyronn Lue, a player on the Lakers team who was comparable in size and height to Sixers star Allen Iverson, wear a sock on his arm during Lakers practice to simulate Iverson's use of a compression arm sleeve as part of his regular gametime attire. Philadelphia media considered this to be a mind game tactic of Jackson's, but the main idea was to simulate what a game against Iverson is like, right down to the tattoos and cornrows (which Lue also had).

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Andrew Bynum

BynumLAL.jpg

Andrew Lee Bynum (born October 27, 1987 in Plainsboro, New Jersey) is an American professional basketball player who plays for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He was drafted 10th overall by the Lakers in 2005. Bynum became the youngest player ever to play an NBA game later that year, breaking Jermaine O'Neal's record. Amidst the 2007–08 season, he suffered an injury on his left kneecap, and eventually missed the rest of the season and all of the playoffs. He made a successful return at the beginning of the 2008–09 season. In January of 2009, however, he suffered another injury, this time to his right knee. During the summer he attends Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, California.

Andrew Bynum was born in Livingston, New Jersey to Janet and Lee Bynum. During his early years he resided in the Northern New Jersey towns of East Orange and Irvington, New Jersey. In 1992, the family moved to Plainsboro, New Jersey, where Bynum completed his primary education and began his basketball career. He has two older brothers, Ernest Bynum Jr. and Corey Thomas.

Bynum attended St. Joseph High School, in Metuchen, New Jersey during his junior and senior year. For his sophmore year, he attended located in New Hope, Pennsylvania. He was in the 2005 McDonald's All-American where he tallied 9 points and 5 rebounds. In his junior year of high school Bynum averaged 16.0 points, 13.0 rebounds, and 6.0 blocks. As a senior, he averaged 22.4 points, 16.8 rebounds and 5.3 blocks per game. During his junior and senior year at St. Joseph High School, Bynum finished his high school career averaging 19.2 points, 14.9 rebounds, and 5.6 blocks in only 32 appearances. He originally planned to attend the University of Connecticut, however, the 17-year-old made the decision to go directly into the NBA and make himself eligible for the 2005 NBA Draft, where he was selected by the Los Angeles Lakers.

In the 2005 NBA Draft, Andrew Bynum was selected 10th overall by the Los Angeles Lakers. At age &0000000000000017.00000017 years, &0000000000000244.000000244 days, Bynum was 12 days younger than former Indiana Pacers player, and current Miami Heat center, Jermaine O'Neal, the previous youngest player drafted by an NBA team. After selecting him in the draft, the Lakers hired Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to work with Bynum. On November 2, 2005, during the Lakers' season opener against the Denver Nuggets, Bynum played six minutes and became the youngest player ever to play in an NBA game at age &0000000000000018.00000018 years, &0000000000000006.0000006 days. During the game, he missed his two field goal attempts but had two rebounds and two blocks. In his second season, Bynum was still the youngest player in the league, due to his draft year being the last that a player could be drafted straight out of high school.

In a game against the Miami Heat on January 15, 2006, Bynum matched up against former Laker center Shaquille O'Neal for the first time. At one point, O'Neal dunked over Bynum on a putback attempt. On the next play, Bynum spun past O'Neal and dunked the ball. He then ran down the court and shoved O'Neal with his elbow, who retaliated by elbowing Bynum's upper chest. Teammate Kobe Bryant quickly stepped in between the two. Both Bynum and O'Neal received technical fouls for the incident.

Bynum averaged 7.8 points on 55 percent shooting, 6.1 rebounds and 1.6 blocked shots in 22.5 minutes per game, along with 10 double-doubles. He showed flashes of dominance but was far from consistent. He had career highs of 16 rebounds and seven blocks on January 26, 2006 against the Charlotte Bobcats. His first career double-double on November 7 included a career-high 20 points, 14 rebounds and three blocks against the Minnesota Timberwolves, and he had 19 points, 10 rebounds and six blocks on January 5 against Denver Nuggets.

With Lakers centers Chris Mihm and Kwame Brown injured at the start of the 2006–07, Bynum served as their starting center. Bynum scored 18 points and had 9 rebounds in 24 minutes against the Phoenix Suns on October 31, 2006, making seven of his eleven attempts from the field. He appeared in 82 games and started 53 and finished the season with averages of 7.8 points and 5.9 rebounds, in just over 21 minutes per game. He also averaged 1.6 blocks per game. Coach Pete Newell was impressed with Bynum's development, and stated that teammate Kobe Bryant should back off on his criticism towards Bynum. During the off-season prior to the 2007–08 season, many teams made offers for Bynum, including the New Jersey Nets and the Indiana Pacers. However, the Lakers exercised a fourth-year contract option on him.

Bynum played 35 games and started in 25 games during the season. His best game of the season came on Christmas Day against the Phoenix Suns, when he made 11-of-13 shots for 28 points to complement 12 boards, 4 assists and 2 blocks. Bynum kept playing solidly and being a reference in the post with averages of 13.1 points, 10.2 rebounds, and 2.1 blocks while leading the NBA with a .636 field goal percentage.

On January 13, 2008, he suffered an injury during a game against the Memphis Grizzlies. Bynum partially dislocated his left kneecap when he landed awkwardly on teammate Lamar Odom's left foot while attempting to grab a rebound. In March, there were reports that he could return before the end of the 2007–08 season or the first round of the playoffs; however, Lakers coach Phil Jackson said that he did not foresee Bynum making serious contributions any time soon in April. In May, rumors about his return were put to rest when Bynum underwent arthroscopic surgery on his kneecap. In September 2008, Bynum said that he was 100% healthy and was ready to participate in training camp, which was scheduled to begin at the end of the month, after working with his trainer. On October 30, 2008, he agreed to sign a 4 year, $58 million dollar deal with the Lakers.

Andrew Bynum set a new career high in scoring with 42 points to go along with 15 rebounds, 8 offensive and 3 blocked shots on January 21, 2009 against the Los Angeles Clippers. Also, on back to back game versus the Washington Wizards he scored 23 points to go along with 14 rebounds, 4 offensive on January 22, 2009.. While playing against the Memphis Grizzlies on January 31, 2009, Kobe Bryant had an off balanced shot, fell and collided with Bynum's right knee, resulting in a right knee sprain. On February 2, 2009 it was revealed that Andrew Bynum had suffered a torn MCL in his right knee and would be out 8-12 weeks. This is the second straight year that Bynum has suffered a knee injury against the Memphis Grizzlies. Bynum had averaged 26 points and 14 rebounds in his previous five games, posting five straight double-doubles for the first time in his career.

On April 9, 2009, Bynum returned in a home game against the Denver Nuggets. He went 0-2 in the first half, but finished with 7-11 by the end of the game. With the 21 minutes that he played, Bynum scored 16 points and grabbed 7 rebounds.

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Point forward

Basketball half-court

Point forward is an unofficial playing position in basketball for those who share the attributes of both a point guard and a forward.

A point forward is usually described as a forward (either a small forward or a power forward) who possesses the ball handling skills and court vision to bring the ball up the court and to initiate the team's offense. The player's size also causes match-up problems as bulkier forwards may not want to guard a point forward around the perimeter constantly. Also the point forward can cause problems for the opposing defense by posting up smaller guards. As such, the point forward is a particularly viable option for teams without a true point guard and also for teams that have small shooting guards or combo guards playing in their back court.

One of the first examples of an NBA point forward was John Johnson, who played the point forward role for the Seattle SuperSonics of the 1970s, alongside two guards who were more scoring-minded in Gus Williams and Dennis Johnson. Some other notable examples are Marques Johnson and Paul Pressey, who were both played that role while under Head Coach Don Nelson for the Milwaukee Bucks in the 1980s. . Perhaps the most notable NBA point forwards are the 6'9" Earvin "Magic" Johnson, who orchestrated the Lakers' offense in the 1980s and was actually the team's point guard, which allowed his teams to have a dominant size advantage over opponents and allowed Johnson to play all five positions on the floor at various times in his career; the 6'8" Scottie Pippen, who played with the Chicago Bulls, Portland Trail Blazers and Houston Rockets and ran the offense; and the 6'9" Larry Bird, who while playing as a small forward or power forward often ran the offense for the great Boston Celtics teams of the 1980s. An example of a Euroleague point forward of this type is the 6'7" Greek player Theo Papaloukas, a player that brings the ball down the court, runs the offense and creates plays.

One current NBA star that has this ability is Stephen Jackson; he is originally a forward but he is well-known to bring the ball down the court like a point guard, to run the offense and often to create and initiate plays. Lamar Odom is also a good example because he is often entrusted to become the primary play maker and ball handler of his team at the power forward position. Some other notable point forwards in the NBA include the French player Boris Diaw and the 6'10" Hedo Turkoglu of Turkey.

LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers is currently the best known point forward of the current generation of NBA players. The Italian NBA player Danilo Gallinari, who currently plays for the New York Knicks, also plays as a point forward.

Alternatively, a point guard playing like a conventional forward can also be considered a point forward, although this usage of the term is uncommon. Guards playing as forwards, going for the rebound, scoring points, giving assists, able to post up guards and even with the ability to guard bigger wing players. Oscar Robertson (who had the size of many small forwards in his era) and Jason Kidd are examples of NBA players, who have averaged near career triple-doubles including both rebounds and assists. An example of this type of player from the Euroleague is the Greek player Dimitris Diamantidis.

At the high school level, since height can sometimes be an issue, a point forward is often used as a guard on offense and as a big man on defense. At this level of play, the typical size of the point forward would be very tall as well as skinny and lengthy. On some high school teams where size is an issue or they have a great player who is to big to be a guard, the player will trail behind the point guard and be a secondary playmaker. On defense the point forward may be asked to defend bigger guys such as the power forward. On offense and defense they will use their speed and length to their advantage.

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Source : Wikipedia