Any Hope Left for Lamar Odom?

Dylan Pulver

In the past month, Lamar Odom has been on a path to ultimate doom. Since early July, Odom’s name has come up in affair rumors with multiple women.  In late August, many media outlets reported that Odom had gone missing, though he was instead hiding out in a hotel, supposedly getting himself involved with drugs. Finally, on Friday, August 30, Odom was pulled over while driving, failed multiple drug tests and was arrested on suspicion of a DUI. Let’s just say that this is not an ideal situation for the 2011 NBA Sixth Man of the Year.

Odom has faced many other problems since receiving the award in 2011. That July, his 24-year-old cousin was murdered, and just days later, he was the passenger in a car that collided with a motorcycle whose teen driver died in the accident.  These events put Odom into a mental state of shock and almost caused him to take a hiatus from the NBA.

Eventually, his wife, celebrity Khlo?e Kardashian, convinced him to continue in the NBA. Once the 2011 NBA Lockout ended, his beloved Los Angeles Lakers tried to ship him to the New Orleans Hornets to snag Chris Paul, though we know that commissioner David Stern, as the CEO of the Hornets, vetoed that deal.

Odom was mad enough at the Lakers’ management that he forced them to trade him anywhere else, and that location ended up being Dallas.

Odom’s 2011-2012 season in Dallas wound up being a disaster, as he was never fully committed from a mental standpoint. He argued with star player Dirk Nowitzki, CEO Mark Cuban, and head coach Rick Carlisle, and the team ultimately asked him to leave in early April 2012.

For the 2012-2013 season, the Mavericks made sure to get rid of Odom by trading him back to Los Angeles, but to the Clippers rather than the Lakers.

The past season was a reclamation of sorts for Odom as little was expected of him, though he did crack the Clippers’ rotation, play solid minutes off the bench and even played in “crunch time” in a few games. And then this summer happened.

Throughout his earlier years in the NBA, Odom was viewed as a great team player and locker-room presence. Interviewers longed for his truthful and humbling interviews. Other current players, former players and coaches admired his dedication and abilities, especially in his tenure with the Lakers.

Pau Gasol, Earvin “Magic” Johnson and Phil Jackson have all tweeted messages of hope regarding Odom’s current situation.

Who knows if Odom will reach his Sixth Man of the Year status again, let alone play another game in the NBA? After his tumbles in 2011 he struggled in Dallas, though he made up for that disaster a bit with the Clippers. While Odom’s problems in 2011 were focused on others, his problems now are about his own state of mind and physical condition.

The Clippers have already made it known that they will not bring Odom back, while the Lakers have said that if Odom goes to rehab immediately, they will have a roster spot waiting for him.

But it seems that, especially because so much has happened in just two months, Odom should take some more time off to think about his life and career, set and reach some goals for his mental and physical health, and then find a team willing to bring him in.

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