Lamar Odom’s life has gone into a tailspin over the past couple weeks and may be coming to a tragic end after he was found unresponsive at a Nevada brothel. The reality star on “Keeping Up With The Kardashians” had first found fame as a NBA player before marrying Khloe Kardashian. His life is quickly falling apart, but most need to rememeber the talent that Odom had as an NBA player before falling into this awful situation.
Find out more about Odom’s NBA career here:
1. Odom Was the Fourth Pick of the 1998 NBA Draft Out of Rhode Island
Odom was a 1997 All-American out of Christ the King High School in Middle Village, Queens before encountering troubles entering college. He was initially set to go to UNLV, but between issues with his grades and receiving inappropriate benefits, he was off to Rhode Island.
Odom was not eligible for the 1997-1998 season at URI, as his academic issues followed him to college. The team, led by NBA veteran Cuttino Mobley, was 25-9 for the season and advanced to the Elite Eight without their prized freshman.
Odom returned for the 1998-1999 season, his only season at Rhode Island before jumping to the NBA as the 4th pick of the 1999 NBA draft.
2. Odom Starred Early in His NBA Career But Then Fell Off
In 1999-2000, Odom made the NBA All-Rookie First Team and he averaged 16.9 points and 7.8 rebounds per game over his first 152 career games. He also shot 46% from the field in 2000-2001 and blocked 1.6 shots per game.
His career took a turn for the worse when he was first suspended for drug use in 2001 and he averaged only 14 points per game in 78 games over the 2001-2002 and 2002-2003 seasons, seeing his field goal percentage drop to 43%. He then signed with the Miami Heat for the 2003-2004 season and had a strong season with the Heat, finishing with 17.1 points and 9.7 rebounds per game in 80 games.
3. He Found Success With the Los Angeles Lakers
Odom started with the Lakers for the 2004-2005 season and was a part of the team until the 2010-2011 season. He averaged over 15 points per game twice (2004-2005 and 2006-2007) and twice topped 10 rebounds per game (2004-2005 and 2007-2008). Most importantly, he was a veteran presence on a successful Lakers team that made the playoffs six times in his seven seasons with the club.
Odom was not the superstar of the team, that was Kobe Bryant, but he shot 49.1% from the field in his 519 regular season games with the Lakers and twice (2007-2008 and 2010-2011) was in the top-10 of field goal percentage.
Most importantly, Odom averaged 13 points and 9.3 rebounds per game in 89 playoff games with the Lakers.
4. Although He Was Never an All-Star, He Had a Successful Career
Odom was known as a strong rebounder and a solid role player through his 885 career games and also participated in 108 career postseason games, one of 132 players to play at least 100 playoff games.
Odom averaged 13.3 points, 8.4 rebounds, and nearly one steal and block per game in a career that spanned stops with the Clippers, Heat, Lakers, and Mavericks before finishing with the Clippers in 2012-2013.
5. Odom Was Rumored To Have A Career Revival With the New York Knicks
The Knicks were the last NBA team that Odom played for, as he was waived in July 2014, and Knicks’ president Phil Jackson cited a lack of professionalism by Odom. During the 2013 offseason, Odom was arrested on a DUI charge and reportedly dealt with substance-abuse issues.
After playing in the Euroleague with Spanish side Laboral Kutxa in 2014, Odom had lost 35 pounds by training with Fareed Samad. He was looking to get back with the Knicks and some said that he was close to rejoining the team.
The Knicks have since said that they were not interested in a reunion with the 35-year-old Odom.