Lamar Odom is back in professional basketball.
The two-time NBA champion and former Sixth Man of the Year hasn’t played in the NBA since 2013 — and in 2015 almost lost his life in his battle with drug addiction — but now says he is headed to the place a lot of NBA players past their NBA sell-by date go make a little more money:
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I have some good news to share with you on this beautiful day from The Netherlands. My heart literally warms up now I can finally share with you all that I'm returning to play Basketball. I will be playing in China ! God is good ! Thanks lord for giving me another chance in life and thank you fans for your the love and support during all those hard years. Never give up on yourself and keep believing that only god can create the miracles you're hoping for. Basketball and my children have always been the light in my life and this is where my focus is right now. Thank you @mr2rchiang and @iamzoul @georgeboss77 for believing in me and the opportunity to start over again! Thank you @starburymarbury for being my inspiration 🙏🏿🏆❤️ LETS GOO ! #china #basketball #yes
Odom is still showing up on TMZ now and again — he and his people were involved in an altercation at a Hooters recently — but he said last year he’s “sober now. But it’s an every day struggle.” It appears he is healthy enough, and worked to get his game back enough, that he can step onto a professional court.
As someone who got to know Odom a little during his time in Los Angeles, I hope this works out for him. I hope this is real, and I hope this can help get/keep him on a clean and straight path. Odom is a genuine, emotional, smart, and heartfelt person who had so much terrible loss around him and in the wake of that (like so many others) lost his way due to drug addiction. That doesn’t mean he’s blameless, but to me it does mean he deserves empathy and people hoping he has found his way.