To my knowledge, Lamar Odom (power forward for the L.A. Lakers) is not a Christian. Yet he models a humility that should be the goal of every Christian athlete, and in reality, every Christian. Sports Illustrated recently ran an article about Odom which contained the following quotes:
The Los Angeles D-Fenders are the Lakers’ developmental-league affiliate; they practice in the same gym and play on the same court as the NBA players but reap few of the other benefits. “Most guys at that level [of Lamar Odom] don’t have time for us,” says guard Brandon Heath. “But L.O. is always telling us to come over to his house, offering to take us out to dinner.”
I love that humility! It reminds me of Romans 12:16: “Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly.”
The article continues:
Sharing has long been part of his game. Growing up, Odom’s idol was Magic, not Michael. He preferred to dish rather than dunk. “When we had college scouts come watch us, he wouldn’t shoot,” says Arbitello [a former teammate]. “He wanted to make everybody else look good.”
This attitude is the exact opposite of mine. I want to make myself look good. I want to be the high-flying, high-scoring, player of the game who impresses everyone. And not just in sports. In every other aspect of life as well. I want to be the guy that looks good, and I don’t get excited when someone else is praised. Philippians 2:3 says, “Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.”
Finally, Odom’s personal trainer says:
Lamar’s a pleaser. He wants to throw you an alley-oop and give you a pound on the way back down.
I want to be like Lamar. I want to celebrate and rejoice in the successes of others.