Lamar Odom's life has been nothing but difficult. He has overcome many obstacles in order to get to where he is. Growing up, Odom’s family life was extremely difficult. He grew up with his dad being a heroin addict and his mom dying of colon cancer when he was 12 years old. He grew up with hardships which he has faced all his life.
On the basketball court, Odom was very different than the life of Lamar Odom off the court. On the court, he was a star, selected fourth overall in the 1999 NBA draft by the Los Angeles Clippers and was named to the All-Rookie First Team.
While with the Clippers, he failed two drug tests for marijuana, which resulted in him only playing 29 games in the 2000-2001 season. His career bounced around as he played for the Miami Heat in the 2003-2004 season but then was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers in 2004, a trade where the Heat acquired superstar Shaquille O’Neal.
When the Lakers acquired Pau Gasol in 2008, Odom unselfishly accepted a bench role in order to let Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum excel together in the frontcourt. On the bench, he produced one of his best seasons in the NBA. In 2010 he played a key part in the Lakers' back-to-back NBA championships, and in 2011, he won the Sixth Man of the Year award, where he averaged 13.5 points and 7.8 rebounds in only 28.6 minutes off the bench.
But that off-season tragedy continued to follow Lamar Odom. That offseason, he considered taking a break from basketball as one of his cousins that was close to him died. Also, he was the passenger in an SUV accident that killed a teen cyclist, showing that tragedy followed him wherever he went.
Following the 2011 season, the Lakers attempted to acquire point guard Chris Paul, involving Odom in the trade. But the trade was vetoed by Commissioner David Stern, and Odom felt betrayed by the organization and demanded a trade. The Lakers ultimately agreed to send him to Dallas, and suddenly, this was the beginning of the end for Lamar, as his career never continued in Dallas.
He was sent to the D-League and was eventually traded back to where his career started in Los Angeles. He then became a free agent and never played again in the NBA, even after getting signed by the New York Knicks. He was eventually released and was never picked up by another NBA team.
His personal life spiraled out of control ever since he left the NBA. In August of 2012, he was arrested for DUI and there were many reports about him abusing drugs. In December of the same year, Khloe Kardashian filed for divorce of the NBA player. There have been many reports of him frequently using drugs since the divorce, and recently his life has spiraled out of control even more.
On October 13, 2015, Odom might have reached his final tragedy. He was found unresponsive in a Nevada brothel. There were no reported drugs in the room, but sources say right before he passed out, he was using cocaine. To make things even worse for him, his 6-foot-10 inch frame was too big to fit in the helicopter that was supposed to fly him to the hospital, so he was driven 60 miles to the nearest hospital instead.
“It’s really hard to see him like this,” says Adam Hasasneh. “I’ve always been a big fan of him ever since he was with the Lakers. I would hate to see him pass away.”
“Lamar Odom was that man in the late 2000’s,” says John Burns. “I’ve been a Laker fan all my life and what he did off the bench was excellent. It’s tough to see him like this and I hope he will be okay.”
Only time will tell if this will be the last tragedy in Lamar Odom’s life. Only time will tell if Lamar Odom can overcome tragedy again and make it through this.