Back in October of last year, the Los Angeles Lakers were set to play a preseason game against the division rival Sacramento Kings in Las Vegas, Nevada before hearing some unfortunate news. The team was coming off an impressive 43-point win over Maccabi Haifa at the Staples Center, and all was good heading into their matchup against the Kings until news broke about former Lakers forward, Lamar Odom.
Before taking the floor against the Kings, Kobe Bryant, and the team was given word that Odom was fighting for his life not far from where they were playing at the MGM Grand Arena. The news was shocking, and the team’s focus was gone with Bryant and Metta World Peace seemingly impacted the most about their former teammate’s condition.
Six months later, Odom has recovered and is in good health. Along with being seen a couple of Lakers games in the final stretch of the 2015-16 NBA season, Odom can take his first step toward potentially making an NBA return. Another former NBA star, Baron Davis, wants Odom to play alongside him on his team in the Drew League, via TMZ Sports:
“I’m going to reach out to LO to see if he would want to play alongside me on my team since he is wanting to return,” Davis tells TMZ Sports.
The news of Odom’s battle for survival dominated the headlines for weeks with chances of him pulling through being slim to none. Although conflicting reports were surfacing on a daily basis through Odom’s struggle to bounce back, the two-time NBA champion eventually prevailed and wants to resurrect his basketball career, via TMZ Sports:
Lamar Odom says he’s NOT done playing basketball — and vows to play again because “I still got it.”
Whether or not Odom can bounce back from this traumatic experience and make a comeback remains to be seen. Odom appears to have all the support needed to make such a comeback with Davis, Bryant, World Peace, and Lakers President Jeanie Buss backing him up, but there’s no telling if he’ll be able to put it back together and ultimately intrigue an NBA team enough to sign him.
As usual, the Drew League will likely showcase many NBA stars once again giving Odom the ideal opportunity to show whether he can still contend with NBA talent.
Last year, the Drew League took place in August with Lakers forward Nick Young and DeMar DeRozan of the Toronto Raptors leading M.H.P. to the championship game against James Harden’s LAUNFD squad. Harden led his team to victory to become the 2015 Drew League champions. The dates for the 2016 Drew League have yet to be released.