The Los Angels Lakers and their 16 world championships have brought forth many legendary teams, which have formed a family after the ultimate accomplishment possible in the NBA. As with many cases, that championship bond is much bigger than basketball, as those friendships last a lifetime.
When former Laker Lamar Odom underwent his trials and tribulations regarding his drug use, his former teammates rushed to his side. Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, and Metta World Peace voiced their support for Odom, stating that they all wished the best for their former teammate.
Upon many personal battles, Odom hit rock bottom, while his friends and family feared for his life. However, Odom’s infectious personality and grinding mentality have seemed to reign supreme, as Odom recently finished up a voluntary check in into a rehab facility.
Since then, Odom has been spotted in the Los Angeles limelight, having dinner with Luke Walton, Brian Shaw and Keyon Dooling. Rumors have swirled that Odom is interested in a coaching stint with the Lakers, after formally reaching out to Walton about joining the staff.
During his interview, Odom opened up about the difficulties of the rehab process and how he is feeling now, via Scott Rafferty of the Rolling Stone:
“I feel good, man. I’m great,” Odom said. “Living. Sober. Hopefully I long life ahead of me.”
Odom touched on a number of topics in the hour-long episode, ranging from how he was “basically just committing suicide” with his drug use to his desire to rekindle the many relationships he lost along the way. Odom even talked specifically about the lessons he learned while he was in rehab.
The 14-year NBA veteran accomplished a lot during his career, including two championships, the 2010-11 NBA Sixth Man of the Year award and a 1999-00 All-Rookie selection.
His unselfishness was a catalyst for the Lakers, as his athletic ability and basketball IQ turned him into one of the best passing big men of all time. As one of the few players that can play all five positions in the NBA, Odom’s career elevated him to stardom.
However, after a downward spiral and divorce following his career, Odom says he is now focused on amending the broken relationships of the past. Odom’s two children came to visit him during his rehab stint, which he says was a dramatic change and only brought them closer.
Now in a healthier state of mind, Odom and Walton can begin pondering the idea of Odom in a role with the Lakers, a franchise that he gave everything to.