Lamar Odom Joins New York Knicks & That's Bad News for His Personal Life

With all of the drama surrounding his marriage to Khloe Kardashian and other personal issues, it can be easy to forget that at the end of the day, Lamar Odom is a professional basketball player. Maybe his actual career will get some more attention now that it seems to be improving, as Odom signed with the New York Knicks on Thursday. Previously, Odom had been playing for a team in Spain and before that spent most of his career in Los Angeles, for the Clippers and Lakers. But while joining the Knicks seems to be a good thing for the troubled star, moving to New York might not be.

For most American athletes, with the exception of soccer players, playing for an international team is usually a sort of demotion. Odom joined Spain's Baskonia after seven months as a free agent without any American teams signing him. Just a month after joining Baskonia, however, he injured his back and was unable to play during the rest of his two-month contract. For Odom, signing with the Knicks doesn't just prove that he's recovered from his injury, but that he's still capable of playing for the NBA. Hopefully, he'll succeed on the team, pass all of his drug tests, and most importantly, boost his own confidence.

There are some potential downsides, however. Odom is from New York, Queens, specifically, and he could find some old friends that are potentially bad influences. Odom's father has been shown on Keeping Up with the Kardashians as an especially toxic presence in his life, and his best friend Jamie didn't seem to be very helpful during some of Odom's lowest points.

The move will also take him away from the Southern California-based Kardashians, and while Khloe might be relieved to get some breathing room, the family seemed to be an important support system for Odom. Kourtney and Khloe may be taking the Hamptons this summer, but that's just for a few months, and doesn't really involve the rest of the family.

Fans of Odom's can only hope that he's so busy practicing with his new team that he doesn't have time to return to old habits or miss the Kardashians. Because of the timing of the signing, Odom wasn't able to play in any of this season's games and has a non-guaranteed second season in his contract. Basically, the Knicks can decide if he gets to play next year based on how his off-season goes.

If that contract helps motivate Odom to stay clean, than everything else is worth it. Maybe by this time next year, we'll have forgotten about all of Odom's off-court drama and go back to talking about his basketball career.