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Lamar Odom Gets Better Reception At Dallas Zoo Than On The Court

Dallas Mavericks forward Lamar Odom and guard Delonte West made an appearance at the Dallas Zoo on Monday afternoon to meet 30 Dallas-area students who were named Mavs Academic All Stars. The two professional basketball players got to meet different animals with the kids and tour the zoo.

The kids didn't boo when they met Odom, which was welcome considering Mavs fans were booing during Wednesday's home game against the Lakers.

Just a few hours earlier Monday afternoon, Odom spoke to the media after the Mavs' practice and said that boos during Wednesday's home game against the Lakers were "confusing" and "hurtful."

Both Odom and West were impressed with the animals and while Odom was a little intimidated by the alligator, West decided to get in touch with his animal side.

"Well, I think they noticed as soon as I came into the zoo my natural animal instinct, you know what I mean?" Delonte said, speaking of the actual animals. "I got a chance to eat with the lions, you know? They had Lamar playing with the penguins, but they needed me for the more animalistic-type of things, carnivore-type of things. So, I also had a chance to give birth to a baby cheetah today and I'm just overwhelmed with the experience to be amongst my own and my peers."

Of course West didn't actually each with lions or give birth to a baby cheetah, but if that's the kind of thing he's into, maybe he should look into a career with the zoo in the future if the whole basketball thing doesn't work out.

For more on the Mavericks, head to Mavs Moneyball.

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Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.