Lamar Odom took a chance to revive his basketball career this week when he signed with Laboral Kutxa of the Spanish league. The deal is set for two months with the possibility for Odom to sign for the rest of the season. At 34 years old, he still has some game left and, if focused, he can still provide an NBA team a very unique skill set. However, given the turmoil that he has been in for the last few years, perhaps signing away from the NBA spotlight is a good thing. Some may think Odom is going overboard by going oversees. He must believe that brushing up on his game, away from all the scrutiny, will help him save his career, even if it means going to Spain. It could prove beneficial to him and his next NBA team.
It was not long ago that Lamar Odom shot 53 percent from the field, averaging 14.4 points with nearly nine rebounds a night. However, it all seemed to crash down around him once he was traded from the Los Angeles Lakers to the Dallas Mavericks. He seemed to be taken aback by the Laker’s decision to trade him. He then moped his way around the Dallas locker room, a shell of his former self. It got so bad that Dallas owner Mark Cuban confronted Odom, asking him was he in or out. Cuban made the decision to cut him shortly after their talk. Since then he seemed to be a man who had lost his way. Week in and week out he had to deal with his private life and marriage highs and lows played out on the TV screen for millions to see. The show Keeping up with the Kardashians made the network and family rich, but from a glance you could see Lamar crumble under the weight of celebrity.
The drug rumors started the summer of 2013. It all snowballed into marital infidelity and other erratic behavior. Now that the dust has settled it is no surprise that Odom looks to get back to the hardwood in an attempt to get his life back on track.
It is not a known fact whether Odom abused drugs and needs a rehab, but what is known, is that he was once one of the most gifted basketball players of his generation. His ability to push the ball, score, rebound and find the open man all while gracefully hoping around like a gazelle in a 6’10 frame was awe-inspiring.
There were some issues going on over the last few years but until Odom decides to fess up about it then, all that can be determined should happen on the basketball court and not reality TV. The glare of celebrity can burn. The glitz and glamour does not seem to be healthy when taken with the wrong perspective. Most Americans would shrink under the lights if every move and mistake were fodder for late night talk shows and tabloids. So, if Odom needs to grab his foreign language dictionary, brush up on his Spanish in order to save his basketball career and move to a better part of his life, then so be it. Déjame vivir por forvor. Translation: Let me live, please!
Editorial by Tony Bowers