Lamar Odom, 34, is off to Spain. Odom has signed a two-month contract with Laboral Kutxa. The contract also includes an option to finish out the season in order to fill the roster or if anyone is injured. Esteemed veterans that play overseas may have clauses that allow them to return to the NBA. Sources have told ESPN that Odom plans to finish out his season in Spain before making any final decisions.
Odom is entering a team with a struggling record. Out of 18 teams, Laboral Kutxato is ninth in the Spanish League and last in Euroleague group. The president of the team, Josean Querejeta, has expressed that they have worked hard last couple of days to make this transition happen. The president of Laboral Kutxato hopes that Odom’s addition will help clean up an ongoing losing streak.
The former Laker has been a free agent since 2012-2013 season. After a summer of wrestling personal issues and battling tabloid reviews Odom met with Doc Rivers, Coach of the Los Angeles Clippers. Doc Rivers relayed to Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com that he hoped things would work out in signing Odom. Ultimately, they did not, and the Clippers decided to go with three other veterans, feeding Lamar Odom’s decision to go off to Spain.
Stats for Odom have declined tremendously in relation to prior years. At the head of 2011, Odom averaged 14.4 points, 8 rebounds, and a 53 percent shooting average per game. Odom was also able to attain the sixth man award that same year. Following a successful stint with the Lakers, Odom then played for the Dallas Mavericks and the Los Angeles Clippers. Before agreeing to the contract with Laboral Kutxa of Spain, Odom averaged a career low. In his last season with the Clippers, he averaged 4.1 points and 5.7 rebounds, dismal stats for the former sixth man.
Overall, a move to Spain gives Odom a change of scenery that is much-needed. Painfully both obvious and speculated is that his personal life has drastically affected his career. The dominating sixth man could come off the bench and contribute just as much on the court as starters. Odom was an integral part of both offense and defense. He was able to gel well with different styles of play and get the job done. Spain will not have the distractions of Los Angeles and should work as a buffer. Odom has expressed that he will live in the Basque city of Vitoria-Gasteiz. He would like to put as much distance between himself and the NBA as possible. Considering the Basque city of Vitoria-Gasteiz is an almost a 14 hour flight from Los Angeles, Odom’s goals seem to pan out.
The turbulent well-publicized issues of estranged spouse Khloe Kardashian can in no way, shape, or form assist positively at this time. The distance should empower Odom to tap into his old performance level. Comebacks, re-improvements, re-inventions, rising and falling are all areas sports fans root for. Wallowing in behaviors that have stripped the most important things out of life is unhealthy and weak. By Lamar Odom going off to Spain he is exhibiting extreme strength.
Editorial By Ebony Waller