Evening News: LeBron says MJ and AI were favorites growing up; Lakers reach out to Odom

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In today’s news, LeBron James revealed a surprising role model growing up and the Lakers reached out to a troubled star from their past. 

LeBron James says Jordan and Iverson were role models growing up

In an interview with Chris Broussard for ESPN the Magazine, LeBron James discussed his role models growing up. 200px-Michael-Jordan

While James predictably named Jordan as his favorite player as a kid, James surprisingly said Allen Iverson was his second favorite player.

“I watch Jordan more than anybody, for sure,” James said. “But I’ll watch tapes of AI, too. I don’t take anything from AI. Well, I do — his will. They say he was 6 feet, but AI was like 5-10½. Do we even want to say 160? 170 [pounds]? Do we even want to give him that much weight? And he played like a 6-8 2-guard. He was one of the greatest finishers we’ve ever seen. You could never question his heart. Ever. He gave it his all. AI was like my second-favorite player growing up, after MJ.”220px-Allen_Iverson_Lipofsky

While James marveled Iverson’s physical determination as a kid, he still marvels Michael Jordan’s mental determination today:

“MJ wasn’t perfect. MJ had bad games. He had turnovers. He had games where he felt like he should’ve been better,” James said. “But I think the greatest thing about MJ was that he never was afraid to fail. And I think that’s why he succeeded so much — because he was never afraid of what anybody ever said about him. Never afraid to miss the game-winning shot, never afraid to turn the ball over. Never afraid.”

As for himself, James believes gaining Jordan’s confidence will be the next step in his development as a superstar:

“That’s one of my biggest obstacles. I’m afraid of failure. I want to succeed so bad that I become afraid of failing.”

Lakers reach out to Lamar Odom

According to ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne, the Los Angeles Lakers have reached out to their troubled former star.

DAL_Odom_LamarOdom was in the tabloids all summer as he struggled with a reported drug addiction. He was also arrested in late August on suspicion of DUI.

While the Lakers were interested in bringing back Odom at the start of the summer, the team now apparently wants to avoid the media whirlwind that Odom’s presence would bring to the locker room.

Odom, 33, won the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year award in 2011 with the Lakers. In that season, he averaged 14.4 points, 8.7 rebounds and 3.0 assists. Now, less than three years removed, Odom’s career appears to be at a crossroads.

Last season with the Clippers, Odom averaged just 4.0 points and 5.9 rebounds as a reserve.

Until he can prove himself clean from drugs, he will have trouble landing an audition in the NBA.

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