Cuban Confirms Confrontation With Odom
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, saying he hopes Lamar Odom’s departure is “addition by subtraction,” confirmed that a heated halftime confrontation between the owner and 13-year veteran was the breaking point that prompted the team and player to part ways.
During halftime of his final game with the Mavs, Odom and Cuban had the exchange in the visitors locker room Saturday night in Memphis.
Sources told ESPNDallas.com the heated words were “the culmination” of an exasperating weekend, when Odom was tardy to the team’s Friday home game against the Portland Trail Blazers and the Saturday morning meeting in Memphis. That convinced team officials to initiate discussions on Easter Sunday that led to the parties agreeing to split for the rest of the season.
Cuban confirmed Tuesday evening the crux of the heated halftime confrontation was Cuban questioning Odom’s commitment. Odom, who had played only four minutes in the first half, reacted angrily to the question, shouting “stop playing games” several times. Odom did not take his seat on the bench until after the third quarter began.
“Well, yeah,” Cuban said when asked whether that exchange was the final straw. “Just his response to it. Everybody goes through ups and downs. Every player does. We tried to put him in a position to succeed. You guys saw it, saw what we did. It didn’t work.
“And I just asked him, does he want to go for it or not? Is he in or is he out? I think he thought we were playing poker. I just didn’t get a commitment. And that was the end.”