After being dealt a pretty hard blow this season, things seem to be looking up for former Los Angeles Lakers guard Lamar Odom. Just off the cusp of his untimely trade to the Dallas Mavericks and being temporarily reassigned to play with Dallas’ D-League on Friday, the popular forward suited up this past Saturday with the Mavs to help bring them a 102-96 victory over the Utah Jazz.
The reality TV star’s commitment to the Mavs came under fire after Odom missed almost two weeks with his new team to attend to his father who became suddenly ill.
Knowing he would be faced with scrutiny on both sides, Odom apologized to his teammates for missing on the court and offered gratitude to owner Mark Cuban for sticking by his side during his absence. “It was really personal and it was something I had to tend to,” Odom told ESPN after Saturday’s game against the Jazz. “Sometimes we have to fix whatever’s going on off the court in order for us to fix what’s going on the court.”
Slated to play with D-League team the Dallas Legends this past Saturday, Odom was called in last minute to join the Mavericks after center Brandon Wright couldn’t play in the game following a concussion obtained the night before.
Odom scored nine points and added five rebounds, three assists and three blocked shots. Odom’s impressive return to the court captured the attention of head coach Rick Carlisle who wasn’t a huge fan of the player following his 10-day absence from the team.
“I don’t think there’s one minute or stretch of 25 seconds tonight where anybody in that crowd could have said he’s not into the game,” Coach Carlisle told reporters. “He was into it. But now that he’s done it, he’s got to do it again and again and again. He’s got to do it 28 times before the playoffs, and he can do it. I’m fully convinced that he can do it.”
You can catch Odom and his wife Khloe Kardashian every Sunday at 10 p.m. on E! in their popular reality show Khloe and Lamar. —Johnathan Cruse