Lamar Odom and the Los Angeles Lakers had an unceremonious breakup in 2011 when the reigning Sixth Man of the Year was traded to the Dallas Mavericks. That trade (and the previously vetoed trade for Chris Paul) was the beginning of the end for Odom’s career as the big man admits he would be still playing professional basketball if not for his mental and physical state after the transaction.
Nevertheless, six years after that move, Odom and the Lakers have begun mending those wounds. The former fan favorite began making appearances at pre-draft workouts this summer, helping his former teammate Luke Walton in the process that led to Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart, Kyle Kuzma, and Thomas Bryant to be drafted by LAL.
Odom’s recent appearances have firstly been a positive sign that he is healthy after his long battle with drug abuse. Secondly, they have created a wave of speculation that the Lakers may offer him an official position on Walton’s staff. Odom admits that he has had discussions on the matter but in an interview with Shams Charania of the Vertical, the former point forward states that he is uncertain about his level of commitment.
“I’ve thought about coaching with the Lakers, but I don’t know if I’m ready to commit myself,” Odom told The Vertical. “It was cool being back around that environment, watching Lonzo [Ball] work out. You could tell he will be special.
“It’s always good to be back around the Lakers’ facility. There’s nothing but good memories, besides that trade.”
Odom does plan to sign with the Lakers temporarily to retire as a member of the Purple and Gold.
Of course, Odom’s health comes first and foremost and he appears to want to spend more time with his family after the recent near-death experience he has. But if he ever feels ready to join the NBA in a coaching role, the Lakers will likely have a spot for him and the fans would want nothing more.