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The downfall and subsequent recovery of Lamar Odom off the court has been an emotional roller coaster for his fans.
Most notably, Odom’s overdose in 2015 left him clinging to life. That moment was the culmination of a host of problems for Odom.
On the court, the start of his downfall could be traced back to a fateful trade in 2011. Coming off a Sixth Man of the Year award, the Lakers tried, and failed, to include Odom in a trade for Chris Paul. After that, the team dealt Odom to the Dallas Mavericks, a trade Odom recently pointed out as a turning point in his life.
“That trade from the Lakers basically ended my career and purpose,” Odom told The Vertical. “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.
“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. 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. I had issues going on. But barring injury, could I play in the NBA today? I could play. I should still be playing.”
In the season following his trade, Odom played in just 50 games and was sent home from the team before the end of the season. He would bounce back to play in 82 games for the Clippers the next season in 2013, but that would be his final season in the league.
While Odom’s off-court life has been rocky, he’s recently rebounded and appears in a better place than he has been in quite some time. In fact, the Lakers and Odom have discussed signing a one-day deal so Odom can retire as a Laker, a fitting tribute for a man who meant so much to the franchise and vice versa.