In what has been an extremely eventful year for Lamar Odom, he may now be on the path back to the NBA. Earlier today, it was reported that Odom met with his former coach and current President of the New York Knicks Phil Jackson during halftime while the team faced off against the Brooklyn Nets. It is unclear what was said at the meeting, but it certainly appears as if Jackson would be interested in bringing Odom onto the Knicks’ roster this summer. Jackson has also met with former Los Angeles Laker Metta World Peace to discuss his future with New York as well.
The Lakers were also rumored to have interest in signing Odom after his alleged crack cocaine problem surfaced the news. Management reportedly offered Odom a roster spot if he agreed to go to rehab, but as we can assume, he did not end up attending rehab. Therefore, Odom has yet to find another NBA job coming off one of his worst seasons of his career with the Los Angeles Clippers last year.
As a member of the Lakers, under Jackson, Odom was a vital piece to the championship puzzle that was once present in Los Angeles. He consistently performed to the best of his ability whether he was in the starting lineup or coming off the bench. The constant absence of Andrew Bynum due to injury caused Odom to be inserted into the starting lineup multiple times throughout his seven seasons there. Playing in the triangle offense seemed to utilize Odom’s skills to the maximum, as he has guard abilities with the size of a power forward or center.
His impact is not just seen on the court, but off the court as well. Teammates of Odom absolutely love him, as Pau Gasol was even able to find him a spot on a Spanish roster a few months ago, which was cut short due to a back injury. If any team is willing to give him another shot in the NBA, it will either be the Lakers or the Knicks. Both teams have strong leadership with familiar faces, where Odom will likely be able to immediately feel comfortable. At this point, I would not bank on Los Angeles signing the former Sixth Man of the Year, but New York is a possibility. The team can use a player familiar with Jackson’s style who can orchestrate the offense when necessary.