This Is Where Lamar Stands With The NBA

by Rachel Simon

When the heartbreaking news that Lamar Odom was reportedly found unconscious was released on Oct. 13, celebrities and fans alike took to social media to state their support for the 35-year-old star. The amount of support is no surprise; although Odom is a famous athlete best known for his time in the NBA, many people know him best as Khloe Kardashian's ex-husband. Yet referring to him only by his former relationship status is doing a disservice to the star, whose had a long and varied career in basketball. In fact, Odom's basketball history spans over a decade. Yet for those who only know him for Kardashians, it's likely that Odom's current NBA status — and his general basketball career, including what teams Odom has been on — are less well-known.

So for those unfamiliar, here's a refresher. After playing basketball in college, Odom entered the 1999 draft and joined the Los Angeles Clippers. As a member of the team, he was named to the 2000 NBA All-Rookie First Team, and started in dozens of games. He was suspended during the 2001-2002 season, however, for violating the NBA's anti-drug policy, and admitted to smoking marijuana. The following year, he became a free agent, eventually being picked by the Miami Heat. There, he was the starting power forward, and helped lead the team to the playoffs.

Yet after one season, Odom was traded to the Lakers, and it didn't start off well; a shoulder injury forced him to sit out during the 2004-2005 season. The next year, though, he was back on the court and doing well, and played to acclaim for the next several years. During the 2008-2009 season, he was moved to the bench before eventually returning to the starting lineup, and in the finals, he won his first NBA Championship alongside his team. After that season, Odom was once again a free agent, but despite possible offers from Miami, he stayed on the Lakers (a $44 million deal probably helped make the decision). Back on the team, he played a successful season, and helped the Lakers win another championship in the 2010 NBA Finals. A year later, he became the first Laker to win the NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award.

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Yet at the end of 2011, he was traded to the Dallas Mavericks (spending a brief time with the Texas Legends), and alleged disagreements between Odom and Mavericks owner Mark Cuban in part caused the player to leave the team in April 2012. He was soon traded back to the Clippers, but became a free agent in June 2013. Following this, he signed with Laboral Kutxa (part of the Spanish ACB League), but an injury caused him to return to the U.S. and leave the team. After he recovered, he signed with the New York Knicks, but didn't stay with the team for long; he was waived by them in July 2014, with CBS reporting that coach Phil Jackson said Odom was "unable to uphold the standards to return as an NBA player."

Ever since, Odom has been a free agent. Here's hoping that if the report of his alleged hospitalization is true, that he recovers soon and returns to the court before long.