When Lamar Odom was traded from the Lakers to the Mavericks in 2011, his career faded into oblivion. He went from a Sixth Man of the Year player to a guy who averaged four points per game two seasons later.
But that trade didn’t just impact him professionally. In a recent interview with The Vertical, Odom said it ended his “purpose” as well. He’s battled drug problems in recent years since his basketball career ended.
“That trade from the Lakers basically ended my career and purpose,” Odom said. “I was never really myself ever again. Being in L.A., the structure, the people I knew, it hurt leaving. I had great memories with the Lakers, with Kobe and Pau. That was a special time in my life.”
Odom’s career flamed out when he was just 33 years old. In October 2015, he was put on life-support and in a coma after being discovered following a drug overdose at a Las Vegas brothel.
Odom played seven seasons with the Lakers in the prime of his career, when he won two NBA championships. It was during his tenure with the Lakers that Odom married Khloe Kardashian in 2009. Their relationship lead to an E! spinoff series title Khloe & Lamar.
After Odom’s trade in 2011, he was out of the NBA within two years. He then went on to play two games in the EuroLeague before injuries cut that venture short. He was signed by the Knicks in 2014, but never appeared in a game. Despite the recent personal difficulties and his apparent anger over the 2011 trade, The Vertical reported that there are potential plans to have Odom retire as a Laker in training camp.
“I got traded the season after we lost to Dallas in the playoffs, and I had won Sixth Man of the Year for the team,” Odom said. “To trade me after winning Sixth Man of the Year … what else do I got to do? Why? I think about it all the time, about how much I had left in the tank.”
~ Mark Twain