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The Numbers Game

April 23, 2007
April 23, 2007

Table of Contents
April 23, 2007

SI Bonus Section: Golf Plus
SI Players: LIFE ON AND OFF THE FIELD
Cover Story
2007 NBA PLAYOFF PREVIEW
NHL PLAYOFFS
Baseball
PRO FOOTBALL
Departments

The Numbers Game

It's not just what you score but also what you wear

LAMAR ODOM
Lakers forward

This is an article from the April 23, 2007 issue Original Layout

"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."

CHRIS WEBBER
Pistons forward

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]."

SHAQUILLEO'NEAL
Heat center

"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

View this article in the original magazine

How do sports stars fit in?When I see ____, I change the channelFavorite websiteIn high school I was ...The one talent I wish I had is ...What's in my pockets right nowStar I'd like to dance with
DAN BOYLE
Lightning, D
Oprahmaxim.comA skateboarderPlaying the guitarCellphone, car keys and moneyDolly Parton
JOEY GRAHAM
Raptors, F
Commercialsfoodnetwork.comStudiousI don't know; I'm pretty talentedMy wallet and a hair brushPaula Patton
JOHN LACKEY
Angels, P
Anna Nicole Smithhitting.comA messThe ability to ride 50-foot wavesThe Billabong walletJessica Alba
ERIC BYRNES
D-Backs RF
OprahI can barely work my computerReal skinnyPlaying the guitarNothingCarrie Underwood (above)
PHOTOGREG NELSON (ODOM NUMBER)PHOTOJOHN BIEVER (ODOM HEADSHOT)PHOTOJEFF KOWALSKY/EPA (WEBBER NUMBER)PHOTOSAM FORENCICH/NBAE/GETTY IMAGES (WEBBER HEADSHOT)TWO PHOTOSJOHN BIEVER (O'NEAL)PHOTOBILL WIPPERT (BOYLE)PHOTOJOHN W. MCDONOUGH (GRAHAM)PHOTOPAUL CONNORS/AP (LACKEY)PHOTOROY DABNER/AP (BYRNES)PHOTOGEICO (GECKO)PHOTOJENNIFER GRAYLOCK/AP (OPRAH)PHOTOJENNIFER GRAD (GUITAR)PHOTOKIRKLAND/AP (UNDERWOOD)PHOTO