Phil Jackson met with Lamar Odom at halftime of a recent Knicks game since taking the reigns as president of basketball operations, but few believed that was a meaningful discussion that would lead to a partnership that could occur this season.
But the possibility is real, and despite New York having just three games remaining on its schedule, the team is reportedly considering adding Odom to the roster at this extremely late stage.
From Marc Stein of ESPN.com:
Sources told ESPN.com that the Knicks, at the behest of new team president Phil Jackson, have been looking into the possibility of signing Odom since the 34-year-old’s short stint playing in Spain came to an end and are weighing whether to go through with adding the Queens native to their roster before the regular season ends.
Among the options the Knicks are considering, sources said, is signing Odom before Wednesday’s regular-season finale to a contract that includes a team option for next season. Doing so would enable the Knicks to work with Odom throughout the offseason before deciding if he’s ready to play — physically and mentally — in time for the start of the 2014-15 season.
Odom was a favorite among teammates during the last Lakers championship season in 2010, and played under Jackson for six seasons.
Jackson is likely going to want to fill as many positions as possible with personnel that understand his philosophies — that could extend from the front office, to the coaches, to the players responsible for actually producing the wins.
Odom has had a tough run as of late, battling personal problems that included some reported drug issues, while trying to revive his basketball career in what was ultimately a failed attempt overseas.
The reunion could benefit both Jackson and Odom if things work out just right, and bringing Odom in now allows the organization to work with him the entire summer in order to see if he can get himself right, to the point where he could truly participate in the rebuilding project that will begin next season.