Lamar Odom has been grabbing the NBA headlines the past couple of weeks but for all the wrong reasons: an apparent drug problem, his public spats with wife Khloe Kardashian and even a recent DUI charge.
Celebrity Couple: Khloe Kardashian And Lamar Odom
How the mighty has fallen. From a very good 6th man for the Los Angeles Lakers two years ago, the versatile forward is now a free agent, with no teams seemingly interested in his services in the upcoming season because of the possible distraction he brings to the team.
Odom suited up for the Dallas Mavericks and the Los Angeles Clippers the past two years. Odom was drafted by the Clippers in 1999 and spent his first four years with the L.A. team before signing as a free agent with the Miami Heat in 2003. He was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers in 2004 as part of the Shaquille O’Neal deal.
Reasons Why Odom Needs Your Sympathy
1. Family Tragedy
A 12-year-old Odom lost his mother, Cathy Mercer, to colon cancer in 1999. His grandmother, Mildred Mercer, who brought him up in lieu of his mother, died in 2004; and then his son, Jayden, who was just 6 months old, passed away because of sudden infant death syndrome in 2006.
2. Accident Trauma
Also in 2011, Odom attended a funeral for his cousin, who was believed to be murdered. The next day, the SUV he was riding collided with a motorcycle and the latter went out of control, hitting a 15-year-old boy who died from the injuries the day after.
3. Faulty Father-Figure
In 2011, Odom admitted in his 24/7 reality show that his father, Joe was a heroin addict. A rough childhood is not a far-off assumption. He did start his career off the right foot— averaging in double-figure scoring in his first 12 years in the league and even won championships in 2009 and 2010 with the Los Angeles Lakers. Leaving Hollywood, however, took its toll, and he played unmotivated and uninspired for the Mavs and Clips. Could things have been different if he had a real father to look up to?
NBA fans have most likely forgotten that once upon a time, Odom was considered one of the better players in the league with plays like these in his prime:
Unfortunately, in the era of What-Have-You-Done-for-Me-Lately, most NBA fans will probably remember Odom as the player who had a few loose screws in his head:
Here’s Clipper Lamar introducing himself as a Laker:
Here’s Lamar with the non-inbounds pass:
Here’s Lamar smashing some stuff:
So the question is, which Lamar Odom will you remember?
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