Many wondered if 34-year-old forward Lamar Odom would ever play basketball again after an offseason that included rumors of drug abuse and a DUI charge.
Now we have our answer.
After temporarily drawing interest from teams like the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers earlier this season, Odom has decided to continue his basketball career in Spain, according to European basketball correspondent David Pick and Marc Stein of ESPN.com.
Sources with knowledge of Odom’s thinking told ESPN.com that the 34-year-old has reached an agreement in principle to sign a deal with Laboral Kutxa in Spain’s top league.
Such deals typically contain out clauses that allow established veterans such as Odom to return to the NBA if the opportunity arises, but sources said Monday that Odom’s plan is to play out the rest of this season in Spain before determining whether to attempt an NBA comeback.
We’ll see if Odom follows through and ends up actually playing in Spain, but this is certainly a positive step if his goal is to return to the NBA.
Odom last played with the Clippers during the 2012-13 season, where he averaged 4 points and 4.4 rebounds in 19.7 minutes. Although he was a shell of his former self, Odom provided the Clippers with pretty solid defense and rebounding once he was able to work his way into shape.
Clippers head coach Doc Rivers had shown optimism about signing Odom at some point this year, but perhaps the Clippers are looking in a different direction to fill their need for a third big man off the bench.
The biggest concerns with Odom have always been his mental health and fitness level, and he can address a lot of those issues by performing consistently at a high level overseas.
Regardless of what happens in Spain, here’s wishing Odom the best. He’s suffered through multiple tragedies throughout his life and has plenty of his own personal demons, and if playing basketball professionally again provides him with the stability he needs, here’s hoping he finds it, wherever that may be.