Blog Entry

Lamar Odom almost left basketball last summer

Posted on: January 15, 2012 3:38 pm
 
Posted by Royce Young

Lamar Odom hasn't really been producing for the Mavericks lately and people are looking for reasons why. The reigning Sixth Man of the Year hasn't looked like himself since he was dealt from the Lakers to Dallas.

But maybe it has more to do with things off the court than on. Because as ESPN Dallas notes, Odom was actually pretty close to stepping away from basketball for a while because of a tough summer.

Left reeling by the July murder of his 24-year-old cousin and a fatal car accident days later that killed a teen pedestrian after the car he was riding in as a passenger collided with a motorcycle, Odom told ESPN.com that he had to be convinced by wife Khloe Kardashian to scrap his plans for a hiatus.

"Real close," Odom said when asked Saturday how close he came to asking the Lakers for a season-long sabbatical.

"My wife talked me out of it.

"Cause I was asking myself: 'Was I mentally prepared to play? If I didn't play well, was I mentally prepared to help the team?' I had thought, 'Maybe I need a year.' Because of the lockout, I thought, 'Maybe somebody's sending me a sign that I needed this time off.'

"(But) when I told some of my friends and my family that I was thinking about steppin' back for a minute, I think the reaction from the closest people to me kind of gave me the energy to get back at it."

So often we all criticize and critique a player's performance on the court without entirely considering the circumstances. This is real life. People have things going on, outside influences making them feel one way or the way. Yeah, they're professionals and they get paid a lot to play a game for us to cheer for, but sometimes things happen that make it difficult to care.

For Odom, a challenging summer just piled up on top of a lot of things he's been fighting through over the years.

But Odom, dismissing the notion of a trade hangover, said Saturday that the events of July made him realize "how much I wasn't over some of the things that I went through (in life)," most notably the death of 6-month-old son Jayden in 2006 from SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).

"I thought it was good time for me to take a step back," Odom said of his sabbatical idea. Asked if he imagined it as just a one-season break, Odom added: "I don't know. 'Cause who knows where time away is gonna take you? You never know."

Odom, though, has expressed confidence in recent days that his sharpness will gradually start to return.

Odom has to play better for Dallas if the Mavericks are going to return anywhere near their championship level. He's averaging career-lows almost across the board and has looked disinterested and unmotivated at times. He's a wildly gifted player and while there are some things he has to overcome like new teammates, a new city and a new situation, it's the things like the challenges of the summer that he really has to get past.

It's not a given that the Mavs will keep Odom, even if he turns it around. The Mavs want 2012 cap room for a run at Dwight Howard and/or Deron Williams and Odom can have his 2012-13 $8.2 million deal bought out for $2.4 million by June 29. But that's not of his concern right now. It's about playing well and getting back to being the player he was and still is.
Comments

Since: Aug 2, 2011
Posted on: January 16, 2012 1:23 pm
 

Lamar Odom almost left basketball last summer

Embarassedkobe hated to lose odom mav's are lucky to get him give him some time and you will be on his bandwagon



Since: Aug 2, 2011
Posted on: January 16, 2012 1:20 pm
 

Lamar Odom almost left basketball last summer

i think what went on this summer it has effected him but he will be back to his ass kicking before long k.b. hated to lose him the laker's really need him



Since: Aug 2, 2011
Posted on: January 16, 2012 1:18 pm
 

Lamar Odom almost left basketball last summer

Surprisedi think he was moved by what's went on in his life sport's is second to life if you can't understand this then you have procelocious



Since: Jan 16, 2012
Posted on: January 16, 2012 11:33 am
 

Lamar Odom almost left basketball last summer

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Since: Jun 21, 2009
Posted on: January 16, 2012 7:24 am
 

Lamar Odom almost left basketball last summer

She might be the ugly Kardashian... but that's like driving the slow Porsche. It's still a hell of a lot better than most people have the luck to ride.



Since: May 17, 2007
Posted on: January 16, 2012 5:49 am
 

Lamar Odom almost left basketball last summer

He's old a year away would be a retirement!  I think he's just done!!



Since: Dec 20, 2009
Posted on: January 16, 2012 2:55 am
 

Lamar Odom almost left basketball last summer

this is such  BS. he thought about it for about ten seconds until he realized how much money he could make this year and he put his work boots on
(a pair of high tops) go tell everybody else the sob story mrs karcrashagain




















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Since: Aug 7, 2008
Posted on: January 16, 2012 2:00 am
 

Lamar Odom almost left basketball last summer

I blame Lamar Odam's problems so far on the court by marrying the ugly Kardashian out of the three, Khole & nothing else.



Since: Oct 14, 2010
Posted on: January 16, 2012 12:22 am
 

Lamar Odom almost left basketball last summer

It sounded as though Kim valued living in LA and doing the TV stuff over being married to Humphrey and living in New Jersey or wherever he is.  I wonder if Khloe feels a similar pull and Dallas is a few thousand miles from where she wants to be.  The Mavs need production from Lamar.  I doubt if he wants to be getting an allowance from the Khardashians any time soon.



Since: Aug 22, 2006
Posted on: January 16, 2012 12:05 am
 

Lamar Odom almost left basketball last summer

Im sure if you get him a blunt or two he'd be cool


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