Former Dallas Mavericks Forward Lamar Odom’s NBA Career Questionable

By Elaine J. Dispo
Lamar's D for Dallas before, Drugs and Depression now
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

This first installment of “Mavs from the Past: Where Are They Now?” features Lamar Odom, who played in the NBA for in L.A. both before and after his short term with the Dallas Mavericks.

Odom started out as a rookie with the Los Angeles Clippers before a brief stint with the Miami Heat, and spent the prime or his career with the Los Angeles Lakers. There, they won two championships, and he was named Sixth Man of the Year in 2011. He returned to California for the Clippers upon parting ways with the Mavs.

Now, this free agent’s time in the league may be compromised.

First, Odom reportedly retreated to recreational drugs including crack cocaine, and went to rehab. Then he got arrested for suspicion of DUI in the San Fernando Valley on Friday, Aug. 30. Exactly two weeks later, he got charged with a misdemeanor count of DUI — talk about an unlucky Friday the 13th.

On top of Odom’s legal issues with substance abuse-induced traffic violations, he might have financial struggles after supposedly shelling out thousands of dollars on coke, not to mention that his marriage to reality TV star Khloé Kardashian also has been on-the-rocks.

During Odom’s season in Dallas, Kardashian spoke highly of her experience there, referring to the warm welcome as “southern hospitality” on their E! show Khloé & Lamar. At least she was a good sport about moving to Texas with her hubby for his job.

On the other hand, Odom complained about the changes while demonstrating poor sportsmanship and lack of interest. A heated encounter between him and Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, who confronted him about his commitment to the team, was the last straw, and they mutually agreed to sever ties on Easter 2012. Maybe Cuban’s money would be more wisely spent on a more dedicated player such as Terrell Owens, who is entertaining the idea of playing in the NBA.

Perhaps the trauma spurred from a fatal car accident in which Odom was a passenger contributed to his poor sportsmanship as a Mav, yet a player of his caliber must persevere and somehow overcome. Unfortunately, Odom hit an all-time low since he left the Mavs; he showed signs of his downward spiral while still in Dallas and after this past Clippers season ended, likely from his habitual high-life of late.

The 2013 offseason was much more favorable to his former teammate, and the fellow forward with whom he allegedly butt heads, Dirk Nowitzki, who just became a first-time father and a German goodwill ambassador.

We can only hope that Odom recovers from his drug abuse that is not tolerated by the league, especially if he wants to be back on a team roster again.

Elaine Dispo is a Dallas Mavericks writer for Follow her on Twitter, “Like” her on Facebook or add her to your network on Google.

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