Lamar Odom says he wants LeBron James to inspire Lakers teammates the way Kobe Bryant did - Lakers Daily

Lamar Odom says he wants LeBron James to inspire Lakers teammates the way Kobe Bryant did

Kobe Bryant and LeBron James

The Los Angeles Lakers are struggling midway into the 2021-22 season.

However, there are still people around the league who believe the Purple and Gold have enough pieces to win a championship this year. One of those people is former Lakers champion Lamar Odom.

The 42-year-old said that one of the reasons the Lakers won two titles in 2009 and 2010 was Kobe Bryant’s leadership skills. He also expressed hope that LeBron James can manifest some of the late legend’s positive traits.

“Of the teams that I played for that won championships, we had a tremendous leader in Bean Bryant,” Odom said. “A lot of his will, tenacity … it kind of rubbed off on us. I would like to see LeBron James’ will and tenacity and his will to win rub off on these Laker guys.”

Odom played a huge role in L.A.’s back-to-back championships. He played a significant number of his games in those years as a reserve. Still, he was able to contribute well, especially in the playoffs. The forward also won the NBA Sixth Man of the Year award in the 2010-11 season.

It took more than a decade before the Lakers got to raise the Larry O’Brien Trophy again. L.A. won the 2020 championship, thanks in part to James’ heroics in the NBA bubble in Orlando, Fla.

Unfortunately, the Lakers were not able to replicate their success in the 2020-21 season. They finished the regular season as the No. 7 seed in the Western Conference and lost to the Phoenix Suns in the first round of the postseason.

L.A. was likely hoping that the acquisition of Russell Westbrook this past offseason would provide the team with a boost. However, the Lakers have not yet found their rhythm this campaign. They are currently 24-26 in the standings and hold the No. 9 seed in the West.

The Lakers will look to get back on the winning track when they take on the Atlanta Hawks on Sunday.