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Wade Heats Up Odom Campaign

Apparently, it's not getting any easier for Lamar Odom to make up his mind between staying with the Odom-Kobe   defending champion Los Angeles Lakers or bolting for a reunion with the Miami Heat.

That's because Dwyane Wade and Kobe Bryant are at it again, when it comes to fierce competition between the league's two best shooting guards.

And if you think their showdowns on the court are classic, just consider their recruiting skills. Both Wade and Bryant are battling for Odom's long-term affection. Both have taken their pleas public in recent days.

On Saturday, Wade took his to another level: Tweetville.

In announcing his return to tweeting after a brief hiatus, Wade sent out this messaged to Odom early Saturday afternoon on his twitter account.

"This is for Lamar Odom ... come back to where it started for both of us.. the franchise u help build back up wants u to End it all here."

Wade, clearly, is in full-court press mode for Odom, who is weighing a five-year, $34 million offer from the Heat against a reported shorter but more annually lucrative deal from the Lakers. Odom is weighing the pull from one of the teams where he blossomed early in his career against the feelings of loyalty from a defending champion.

"I'm optimistic he'll be back," Bryant said this week. "He makes us a much, much stronger team."

Odom and Wade were teammates during Wade's rookie season in 2003-04. Together, they overcame a rough start to the season, won 42 games and advanced to the second round of the playoffs. Odom spoke fondly about his experiences with the Heat during this year's Finals, when his Lakers defeated the Magic.

ODOM-WADE "I remember how competitive we were," Odom said. "It was a real brotherhood environment there. I guess that's the reason we overachieved."

The irony of it all is that it took Odom's departure to Los Angeles in that trade for Shaquille O'Neal to set the stage for Wade to get his championship in 2006. On the other hand, it took Odom to leave the team he had so much fun with to eventually get a chance to win his ring alongside Bryant and the Lakers.

Now, Wade is campaigning hard for Odom to return so they can make things all right by winning one together - just like they talked about doing years ago as teammates. Does Odom have a better shot at winning his next title with the Lakers than he does with the Heat? No doubt. But that might not settle the signing issue with Odom.

See, he's always seemed to be the kind of player and person who would rather be wanted and happy on a playoff contender than undervalued and constantly criticized on a championship contender.

But therein lies the pull.

On one side, Wade is offering a return to home and happiness. On the other, Bryant is extending the chance to be part of a dynasty. That the Heat has remained in the Odom sweepstakes even this long says a lot.

So which should Odom follow?

His head (Bryant/Lakers)?

His heart (Wade/Heat)?

Or, his accountant (the best deal he can get -  slight edge: Lakers)?

(For live news, notes and updates on the Heat, follow me on Twitter @ twitter.com/wallacesports)




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