An NBA champion with the Lakers in 2008-09 and 2009-10, Odom is known for his insatiable candy cravings, marriage to reality television star Khloe Kardashian and infectious smile.
He was raised by his grandmother in South Jamaica, Queens, an area of New York ravaged by drugs and violence. His father was a heroin addict and his mother died of colon cancer when he was 12.
Odom was drafted by the Clippers as the No. 4 overall pick in 1999 and was selected to the 2000 all-rookie first team. After being acquired by the Miami Heat for the 2003-04 season, he was traded to the Lakers along with several other players for Shaquille O’Neal.
Tragedy struck in 2006 when his 6½-month-old son, Jayden, died of sudden infant death syndrome in his crib. Making matters worse, it happened on the three-year anniversary of the death of his grandmother. Overwhelmed with grief, Odom considered quitting basketball.
Instead he threw himself into his various passions, including his record label, Rich Soil Entertainment, and a new line of Christian-themed apparel, Son of Man.
He helped the American team win a bronze medal at the 2004 Olympics in Athens and a gold medal at the 2010 world championships in Turkey.
Heading into the 2010-11 season, Odom agreed to co-star in a reality television show with his wife dubbed “Khloe and Lamar.” Nearly all of the show’s filming occurred during the regular season, but his budding side career as a celebrity seemingly had little effect on his game.
Odom posted some of the best numbers of his career in 2010-11, capturing the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year Award at season's end. He played a valuable role early on filling in for injured starter Andrew Bynum through the first 24 games, and he continued to post all-star caliber numbers after making a graceful return to the bench.
Unfortunately, Odom was unable to replicate his early-season numbers in the postseason as the Lakers’ run of consecutive titles came to an end. A month later, the Lakers unsuccessfully tried to trade Odom to the Minnesota Timberwolves for their No. 2 overall pick in the NBA draft. Minnesota rejected the offer.
Odom was then part of a trade involving Chris Paul of the New Orleans Hornets that was voided by the NBA before the start of the lockout-shortened 2011-12 season. Odom was upset over being part of the blocked deal and was traded two days later to the defending champion Dallas Mavericks in exchange for their 2012 first-round draft pick.
March 15, 2012