Lamar Odom Opens Up About Past Ahead of Big3 Debut
Lamar Odom enjoyed a successful 14-year NBA career, during which he won NBA championships in 2009 and 2010 and was named Sixth Man of the Year in 2011. Like many NBA players, he felt like he was on top of the world, but then things started to go downhill.
Odom admits that he was never the same after being traded from the Lakers in 2011. “That hurt,” he says. “I loved that team. That trade hurt me. I was never the same after that. I think back to where I was at in my life. My cousin had just been killed and the team knew about that and where I was at after the loss of my son. I’m not going to say that they should have protected me but I was coming off a Sixth Man of the Year winning season, I couldn’t believe they would trade me like that.”
We, as fans and followers don’t know the personal situations of NBA players. As was the case with Odom, he was dealing with a lot in his personal life, and the trade away from the Lakers led to his life spiralling out of control.
It led to an eventual cocaine overdose at a Nevada brothel in 2015, where Odom suffered a stroke, heart attack and fell into a coma. “My damn memory. I can’t remember anything. From the stroke, some of my balance is not the same, my equilibrium is not the same, but I’m working on it to get it better,” he said.
“My doctors say I’m a walking miracle’ they’re amazed that I’m here. I always knew I had a strong will. I think my will is even stronger than I believe it was. It’s a testament that God is good. When I woke up and I couldn’t talk or walk I never thought I would be here,” Odom reflects.
As he has continued to recover, Odom is now ready to make his debut in the BIG 3, this summer. He hasn’t played professionally since 2014 and is looking forward to getting back onto the court. “To be back playing basketball is unbelievable,” Odom says. He seems to be doing better, with aspirations of even playing professionally overseas before he officially retires.
Nonetheless, the case of Lamar Odom is a reminder that basketball and career trajectories can take a toll on players, especially when they are dealing with personal matters. Players and their families become attached to certain cities, and though they are professionals getting paid large sums of money, having to leave everything behind indefinitely can affect their psyche.