Lamar Odom was a key player on the Lakers teams that made three straight NBA Finals appearances, ultimately winning two championships in his time as a Laker. Pau Gasol and Odom had always had a strong friendship on and off the court. Odom’s newest gig sees him play in country Gasol knows very well.
With Lamar struggling ever since the failed Chris Paul trade and his subsequent trade to the Dallas Mavericks, Pau recently reached out to Odom to offer some guidance.
According to L.A. Times writer Eric Pincus, Pau encouraged Lamar to join Spanish side Labor Kutxa:
Lakers forward-center Gasol was instrumental in helping Odom make the decision to join Laboral Kutxa.
“I was told about Baskonia through my agent. I spoke to Pau,” said Odom. “I understood that Pau had a great relationship with Coach Sergio [Scariolo], that was one of the main reasons why I wanted to come.”
After winning Sixth Man of the Year with the Lakers during the 2010-11 season, Odom has seen his career go spiraling downhill. He forced a trade out of the Los Angeles in 2011 and ended up with the Mavericks, where his play was so poor that he had a stint in the D-League.
Odom’s last appearance in the NBA was during the 2012-13 season when he played the for the Los Angeles Clippers.
Many believed Odom missed Los Angeles and that his move back to the Clippers would revitalize his career. However, Odom endured one of his worst seasons as a pro and averaged a career low four points.
Both the Lakers and Clippers had shown interest in Odom this past off-season, but after rumors reported Odom’s divorce to Khloe Kardashian and subsequent drug addiction both teams pulled out of possible talks.
Pau is obviously looked upon highly by Odom for his encouragement to be taken seriously by a player who has been off the wall as of late. Hopefully Odom’s time in Spain can help him turn his life and basketball career in the right direction.
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