Odom, who has not played in the NBA since the 2012-13 season, did not specify which team he will play for in China. He thanked Stephon Marbury for inspiring him, as Marbury went on to win multiple titles in the Chinese Basketball Association and become a star overseas after playing 13 seasons in the NBA.
Odom has been open about his struggles with drug addiction over the past couple of years, so hopefully his decision to play professional basketball again will help keep him on the right path. Earlier this week, Odom’s name was mentioned in connection with an alarming incident at a Hooters restaurant, but the 38-year-old says he was not harmed nor directly involved.
Ex-NBA star Lamar Odom is back in the news again for a negative reason.
TMZ Sports reported on Tuesday that the former Sixth Man of the Year was involved in an altercation at a Hooters restaurant in Queens, New York in the early hours of Jul. 20, leading to the cops being called. Witnesses say that Odom and a group of friends were leaving the restaurant when they got into a verbal argument with another group. A man from the other group is said to have pulled out a gun and fired multiple shots into the air. Nobody was struck however, and the other group fled the scene, per witnesses.
As for Odom, the report says that he has not been accused of any wrongdoing and is cooperating with the police as they actively search for the shooter.
Odom, 38, last played in the NBA during the 2012-13 season. He has since played for Spanish club Saski Baskonia however and has expressed interest in suiting up for Ice Cube’s BIG3 basketball league.
Lamar Odom has been interested in playing in Ice Cube’s BIG3 basketball league for quite some time, but he may be more motivated than ever now to join a team for the upcoming season.
Odom told TMZ on Thursday that he could be joining the BIG3 this summer, and he said he doesn’t have a preference of which team he plays for. However, he said he would like to play in honor of the late Rasual Butler, a fellow former NBA player who died in a car crash last month.
“The person I wanted to play for just passed away, so it don’t matter,” Odom said. “I jut want to go out there and represent for him.”
Odom considered Butler one of his closest friends in the NBA.
There’s no other information available surrounding Odom’s condition.
Odom has been in rehab before for substance abuse issues and openly admitted that cocaine helped end his career. Seeing him collapse like that is not a good indication that he has learned his limits or is taking the best care of his body possible.
“If I was Nick Young, I would’ve put my hands on him,” said Odom of Russell, per Bryan Kalbrosky of HoopsHype. “And I was expecting motherf*ckers on the team to put their hands on him. That would’ve showed camaraderie.”
Lamar Odom has exhibited some self-destructive behavior in his life, but few realized that included sabotaging himself from becoming the No. 1 overall pick in the 1999 NBA Draft.
Odom was viewed as a talented, versatile player coming out of college at Rhode Island in ’99. He was in the mix to be the No. 1 pick, which ultimately was Elton Brand by the Chicago Bulls. Steve Francis and Baron Davis are two other talented players who were taken in front of Odom, while excellent players like Rip Hamilton, Jason Terry, Shawn Marion and Andre Miller went behind him, forming an extremely productive top-10.
Odom told The Vertical’s Shams Charania in a lengthy feature that he no-showed on the Bulls for his predraft visit, and instead spent the day at the beach on Long Island. He kept Chicago’s GM Jerry Krause and then-coach Tim Floyd waiting for seven hours without showing up. His interview with the Bulls before the draft also did not go well.
“Because the questions that Jerry Krause was asking me were inappropriate, I thought at the time,” Odom told Charania. “Jerry Krause was asking me questions about my father’s health, about his past. That was none of his business. That had nothing to do with me being drafted, me being a player. After talking to him, I didn’t really want to be No. 1. It worked out for the best.”
Although Odom acknowledges being the No. 1 pick would have been a cool career accomplishment, he says he didn’t think he really wanted to go No. 1 to the Bulls.
Also in the feature, Odom reiterated a sentiment he’s shared in the past, which is that being traded away from the Lakers derailed his NBA career. At the time, was nearly in tears after learning the Lakers wanted to trade him and he blasted the team’s front office. He also says he once turned down more money from Portland to remain with the Lakers — a decision he clearly believes was the right choice.
Odom’s not the first athlete to make a poor impression on a team during the draft process, only his efforts actually worked, unlike what happened with another star who did the same thing.
The BIG3 basketball league has given former New York Knicks fan favorite Charles Oakley another chance to play competitive basketball, but the 53-year-old does not believe that same opportunity should be afforded to Lamar Odom.
“I don’t like him like that,” Oakley said. “In life, sometimes you only get but one chance. He’s had three or four chances. He can play, he’s a talented guy. I’m just saying … I don’t want him on my team.”
Odom, 37, has said in the past that he would like to resurrect his basketball career. A previous report from TMZ indicated he has a legitimate chance at joining the BIG3, though league founder Ice Cube sounded skeptical in some recent remarks he made.