Odom, who also played for the Clippers, made his remarks during “The Lade Show” podcast he co-hosts with Aron Cohen.
— The LADE Show (@TheLADEShow) April 20, 2023
“I’ll be honest with you,” Odom said. “If you a Laker fan and the Clippers are playing, you should be rooting for them.”
When asked by Cohen why those fans should consider such an idea, Odom then gave his controversial reason.
“Some type of patriotism,” responded Odom.
Cohen responded with a blunt rejection of the idea, with Odom then offering the reasoning behind his idea.
The Lakers and Clippers have both been playing in Los Angeles since the 1984-85 season, though the Clippers have long played in the Lakers’ shadow.
For most of that time, the reason for fans largely preferring the Lakers was a simple one: The Lakers won countless championships or usually contended for titles. In contrast, the Clippers’ legacy in the city has mostly been one of futility.
In recent years, the Clippers have taken a number of positive steps forward. However, the franchise is still looking to capture its first NBA title.
Odom began his NBA career with the Clippers, who selected him with the fourth overall pick of the 1999 NBA Draft. He spent his first four seasons with them before signing with the Miami Heat as a free agent in 2003.
After just one season with the Heat, Odom was dealt to the Lakers as part of the blockbuster deal that sent Lakers legend Shaquille O’Neal to the Heat.
Odom remained with the Lakers until being dealt to the Dallas Mavericks in December 2011. During his time with the Lakers, Odom was a part of the team’s NBA titles in both 2009 and 2010.
At the end of that 2011-12 season, Odom then played in his final NBA season by coming off the bench for the Clippers.
Subsequent efforts to stay in the league came up short, with Odom having off-the-court trouble and later experiencing embarrassing personal issues. Most notably, he nearly died from a drug overdose in October 2015, with hospital expenses forcing him to sell his championship rings
Even though both teams are representing the city of Los Angeles, Odom’s idea is likely a fanciful one that few fans will take seriously. Decades or even just years of support can be hard to shift, especially since the rivalry has gained steam in recent years.