Two-time NBA champion and former No. 4 overall pick Lamar Odom is planning to join Ice Cube‘s BIG3 league for their upcoming third season.
Odom, 38, played 14 years in the NBA before his final year with the Los Angeles Clippers in 2013. The 2011 Sixth Man of the Year most recently played competitive basketball in Spain in 2014, playing just two games before returning to the United States with a back injury.
Here is what he told Ryan Ward about the potential opportunity (via Clutch Points):
“I’m getting myself into game shape, which I’m not too far from it now. I’ll be playing. Hopefully, I’ll be playing. I also plan to play in the CBA in China in 2019 … I just want to compete again. NBA2K is not enough.”
His return to a court would be a huge victory for the 38-year-old, who says he suffered 12 strokes and six heart attacks while he was comatose after an overdose in October 2015. Odom was finally released from hospital care in January 2016.
During a podcast appearance with Shaquille O’Neal in September 2017, Odom said he was in shape and ready to join the league. He attended one of the BIG3 games in Los Angeles a month earlier. Odom said in February 2018 he wanted to participate in the BIG3 to honor the late Rasual Butler.
It’s not a huge surprise to learn he wants to play in China, too, considering Odom told reporters in April 2018 he wants to play overseas if he gets an opportunity.
While it’s unclear if he is in playing shape, several players would likely be happy to have him on their roster. This list is highlighted by former Los Angeles Clippers teammates Corey Maggette and Quentin Richardson, who won the league championship in August 2018. Kwame Brown, who played with Odom on the Los Angeles Lakers, made it to the title game as well.
Others connected to Odom include collegiate teammate Dion Glover, who played alongside Odom at Rhode Island. Baron Davis, who played in the BIG3 last season, offered Odom a chance to play at his pro-am Drew League in Los Angeles.
Just don’t expect him on the Killer 3’s, coached by Charles Oakley – who has said Odom is not welcome on his team. Last year, this roster had Odom’s former teammates Chauncey Billups, Josh Powell, Ryan Hollins as well as Metta World Peace.