Lamar Odom, once a key part of the Los Angeles Lakers’ championship team of a few years ago, fell off the NBA radar after he was traded to the Dallas Mavericks. He was said to be despondent about not playing in LA. He became known for marrying reality TV star Khloe Kardashian and, later, for his troubled relationship with her and his reported issues with drugs.
Now Odom has planned a basketball comeback, reaching an agreement to play in Spain’s Laboral Kutxa. Odom could make his debut Saturday against Valladolid. Laboral Kutxa is ninth in the 18-team Spanish league and last in its Euroleague group.
The 34-year-old forward has a two-month contract, which includes an option to extend the deal for the remainder of the season, to fill a roster spot that opened up because of injury. These deals typically contain out clauses that allow established veterans such as Odom to return to the NBA if the opportunity arises. But sources told ESPN.com on Monday that Odom’s plan is to play out the rest of this season in Spain before determining whether to attempt an NBA comeback.
The Los Angeles Clippers, Odom’s last team, and Lakers both registered interest in signing Odom last summer until his private life became a near-daily subject for the tabloid media. Odom’s divorce from Kardashian was made official in December.
A free agent since completing the 2012-13 season with the Los Angeles Clippers, Odom appeared close to a return to the NBA in November. New Clippers coach Doc Rivers invited Odom to the team’s practice facility to gauge the state of his game and well-being following a tumultuous summer.
Rivers went so far as telling NBA.com’s Scott Howard-Cooper at the time that he was “hoping things work out” with re-signing Odom, who averaged a career-low 4.0 points and 5.9 rebounds in 88 NBA games last season.
But LA went in another direction and Odom now appears headed for Spain.