"I GOT ITbecause my grandmother used to go to Atlantic City and [gamble]. You know,lucky number 7," says Odom, who has worn the number since his NBA debutwith the Clippers, in 1999. "Plus it's God's number. God made the world insix days and rested on the seventh. It's spiritual. When I got to Miami [in2003], nobody had the number, but Brian Cook had it when I got to the Lakers[in '04]. I told him what it meant to me, and I gave him cash. You're supposedto do that [when you take someone's number]. That's like NBA policy."
WEBBER worenumber 4 at each of his four stops in the NBA—until he came to Detroit on Jan.16. With the number retired for former guard and current Pistons president JoeDumars, Webber drew inspiration from his seven-year-old nephew, Colton. "Isaid I was coming to Detroit, and he said, 'Get number 84,'" Webberrecalls. "I said, 'Why?' and he said, 'Because you'll win.' He had a dreamI wore 84 and won a game. I told Joe D, and he said, 'You better wear 84.' Ilove it. Also, it's a football number. I played tight end [at Detroit CountryDay School]."
"IN COLLEGE[LSU] I wore 33 for Patrick Ewing," says O'Neal. "I wanted it inOrlando, but Terry Catledge wanted to sell it for $50,000. I was not payingthat. So I went with 32. With the Lakers, I couldn't have 32 because of Magic,or 33 [Kareem Abdul-Jabbar]. I took 34. Here, I wanted 33, but Zo"—centerAlonzo Mourning, who also wears 33 for Ewing—"was coming back. So I took32." Why not stay with his Lakers digits? Shaq, bitter at being dealt byL.A., says, "I didn't go with 34 because 34 was stabbed in the back in LosAngeles."
The Pop CultureGrid
|How do sports stars fit in?||When I see ____, I change the channel||Favorite website||In high school I was ...||The one talent I wish I had is ...||What's in my pockets right now||Star I'd like to dance with|
|Oprah||maxim.com||A skateboarder||Playing the guitar||Cellphone, car keys and money||Dolly Parton|
|Commercials||foodnetwork.com||Studious||I don't know; I'm pretty talented||My wallet and a hair brush||Paula Patton|
|Anna Nicole Smith||hitting.com||A mess||The ability to ride 50-foot waves||The Billabong wallet||Jessica Alba|
|Oprah||I can barely work my computer||Real skinny||Playing the guitar||Nothing||Carrie Underwood (above)|