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#pounditWednesday, March 29, 2023

Lamar Odom Considered Taking a Year Off Basketball, Upset with Media

Lamar Odom had such a difficult summer he says he considered taking a year off basketball to get his mind straight. Some of the issues affecting his mental state were the July murder of his cousin, and the car crash he was in that killed a pedestrian. He says he was really close to taking a year off before his wife, Khloe, convinced him to continue playing.

“I was asking myself: ‘Was I mentally prepared to play? If I didn’t play well, was I mentally prepared to help the team?’ I had thought, ‘Maybe I need a year.’ Because of the lockout, I thought, ‘Maybe somebody’s sending me a sign that I needed this time off.’

“(But) when I told some of my friends and my family that I was thinking about steppin’ back for a minute, I think the reaction from the closest people to me kind of gave me the energy to get back at it.”

One would question if Odom is mentally ready for the season through the first 13 games. The answer is probably no. He’s setting career low numbers in every statistical category. The poor play is no surprise; Odom was nearly in tears when he first learned he was being traded. He’s also upset with the media’s reaction to his poor play.

“It’s so funny how like after six or seven games, eight, nine games, ten games . . . people try to like erase your whole body of work as an athlete. You know what I mean? They just try to dismiss what you’ve accomplished,” he vented recently.

“But I guess this is really like a what have you done for me lately type of business. But that’s part of the pressure that kind of keeps us ready and eager to kind of perform at a high level, too.”

People may be down on Odom for his poor play this year, but it shouldn’t undo what he’s accomplished. He’s a two-time champion, Sixth Man of the Year, and one of the more versatile players in the league. He just needs to start showing it.


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