Lamar Odom is one of the most fondly remembered Los Angeles Lakers of all time as a two-time champion and 2011 NBA Sixth Man of the Year award winner.
Sadly, after being traded to the Dallas Mavericks following the failed Chris Paul trade, Odom’s career went off the rails and he had a near-death experience after an accidental overdose.
However, since his miraculous recovery, the 39-year-old has now joined the BIG3 in hopes of getting his basketball skills back. But as for just being alive, Odom knows how close he was to not even having that, according to Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News:
“All my doctors say I’m a walking miracle,” Odom said. “They couldn’t really believe how I came back so fast. When I woke up I couldn’t walk or talk.”
Basketball fans remember the fear of losing Odom, but in almost four years, he has made what is close to a full recovery, something he attributes to a deal with God:
“For me it’s just a blessing to be able to play. I’m just refining all my skills,” Odom said. “I think God made a deal with me. He said, ‘I’m going to give you life, but I’m going to take your basketball skills.’ But I don’t mind working to get it back. It’s going to be a tedious process, but it’ll come back.”
Odom will obviously never be the player he once was, but the BIG3 offers hope for players like him who believe they can still play the sport. If Odom can find some of his old skills, refine it, and become a whole basketball player again, it would be an uplifting ending to a story with several low points.
Odom is one of the most beloved Lakers ever, so it is fair to say that all of Lakers Nation will be rooting for him as he makes this comeback.