Triano impressed with Lakers' Odom

FRANK ZICARELLI, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:50 PM ET

LOS ANGELES — Jay Triano didn’t know anything about Lamar Odom, but he got an insight into his personality at this summer’s world championships in Turkey.

As the U.S. came away from a gold medal, Triano came away impressed at Odom’s ability to lead, a trait not synonymous with Odom.

“Being with him for that amount of time, I developed an incredible amount of respect for him,’’ the Raptors head coach said as the Lakers were scheduled to play host to Toronto Friday night.

“He was the glue on that team. He was the leader, he was the veteran who had a won a championship and with all these young players he knew how to lead.

“He was a total pro. He showed up every day, did exactly what was asked and made plays when plays needed to be made. (Kevin) Durant was very good, but (Odom) was the reason that team was as good as it was on the defensive end, which is why it won.”

Odom turns 31 years old on Saturday and is in his 11th NBA season.

He’s a perfect piece on a Lakers team who can play point forward and slide over to power forward, which is what Odom has been asked to do in the injury absence of Andrew Bynum.

Entering Friday, Odom’s 16.6 scoring average and 11.4 rebounding average are well above his career averages. In five games, he’s posted three double-doubles.

And to think the Lakers thought of not extending Odom a new deal this off-season.

“He joked in the summer that this will be the first time he ever went into training camp in shape because he played all summer,’’ Triano recalled.

Not only is Odom in shape, but he’s been able to flourish.


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