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- Along with cash, credit cards and the occasional business card, Lamar Odom's money clip holds a worn, light blue, laminated card with a message on each side.

It's a constant reminder for the Heat forward, given to him by ''someone special in the Heat organization,'' also known as Pat Riley.

On one side it reads, ''Warriors do not live in the past. The past is dead. Life is now and the future is waiting.'' And on the other side, verbatim: ``(Character) and other (risks).''

''I kind of walk around with it all the time,'' said Odom, who also has the message on the walls of his house. ``This is just a reminder. Remember what they said about you, what they think, what they feel. What people think, what people feel.

``It's beyond basketball, too. This helps me off the court. It just helps me to keep a straight mind and to think twice, really, before I make decisions.''

When the 24-year-old signed with the Heat this offseason, everyone knew what kind of player the team was getting, but not many were sure what kind of person would come with it. Clippers general manager Elgin Baylor made it so by announcing his team would not match the Heat's $65 million offer to Odom ``based on issues of character and other risks involved.''

On Friday, Odom will play in Los Angeles against the Clippers for the first time since leaving. And through a full training camp and nearly half a season with the Heat, Odom's character has yet to come into question.

''I don't care if it's Caron Butler going for 35 or Eddie Jones hitting the game-winning shot or Dwyane Wade breaking out of his cast and finding a way to play, I just want to win that game, and if we can't, we move on,'' Odom said. ``I can't be caught up in the emotion.''
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