Lamar Odom's Return to Professional Basketball Flames Out After One Game


Former NBA champion Lamar Odom’s return to basketball did not last long.

Odom — who was part of Los Angeles Lakers’ championship teams in 2009 and 2010 — had made a comeback in the Big3 Basketball League this season.

But his return was short-lived.

Odom, 39, played in only one game for the Enemies, coached by Rick Mahorn.

On Friday, the league deactivated Odom, along with several other big-name players. A source told ESPN that Odom was not “up to it from a competitive standpoint.”

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Former NBA players Baron Davis, Bonzi Wells and Jermaine O’Neal were also deactivated.

“Such changes are being implemented to maximize competition, protect the health of the players and to raise the level of professionalism of the Big3,” the league said in a news release.

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League owner Ice Cube elaborated on the Odom decision.

“As a league, we want players that are actually playing, so if you aren’t playing, or can’t play, or you have any health issues …” Ice Cube told TMZ Sports.

Of the four players who were deactivated, only one had played a game this season — Odom. But the other three played last year.

In his one game, against the Bivouac in Detroit, Odom had two points, four rebounds and one assist.

“I like the pace of the game. Once I get my rhythm back it should be no problem,” he said afterward.

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It’s been a tough road for Odom since he retired from the NBA in 2013 with the Los Angeles Clippers.

Odom played 14 seasons in the NBA, averaging 14.3 points and 9.0 rebounds per game for his career. He spent most of his career in LA, playing seven years with the Lakers and five years with the Clippers. He also spent one year with both the Miami Heat and Dallas Mavericks.

His best year scoring was 2001 with the Clippers, when he averaged 16.6 points per game. But he’s best known for his championship years with the Lakers, helping them win titles in 2009 and 2010.

Odom married Khloe Kardashian in 2009 and made several appearances on the “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” reality show. He also starred in a short-lived “Khloe & Lamar” show. They divorced in 2016.

Odom has battled drug and alcohol addiction for years, and in 2015 it almost killed him as he overdosed and was found unconscious in a Nevada brothel.

“All my doctors that see me say I’m a walking miracle. I had 12 strokes and six heart attacks when I was in a coma,” Odom said in a 2018 interview with People magazine. “Every day, I’m alive. It’s much better than the alternative.”

He’s been receiving treatment for his addiction since and wanted to make a comeback in the Big3.

Ice Cube told TMZ he hopes Odom can continue on the road to recovery.

“Always,” he said. “I love the guy.”

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Dave is a lifelong sports fan who has been writing for The Wildcard since 2017. He has been a writer for more than 20 years for a variety of publications.
Dave has been writing about sports for The Wildcard since 2017. He's been a reporter and editor for over 20 years, covering everything from sports to financial news. In addition to writing for The Wildcard, Dave has covered mutual funds for Pensions and Investments, meetings and conventions, money market funds, personal finance, associations, and he currently covers financial regulations and the energy sector for Macallan Communications. He has won awards for both news and sports reporting.
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