The Life & Struggles of Lamar Odom
Before, during and after he married into the Kardashian family
The name of Lamar Odom can be associated with a lot of different things—the Kardashians, the NBA, drugs, money and the glaring spotlight of fame. But what a lot of us may not know is that he has, on numerous times, gone to hell and back.
Born on November 6, 1979, Lamar grew up in Queens, New York just as the cocaine epidemic of the 80s and 90s were at a high. His father was a disabled veteran and heroin addict, but his mother was a corrections officer who worked hard to keep Lamar off the wrong side of the street. He fell in love with basketball when he was 7 and has worked hard at it ever since.
When he was 12, Lamar’s mother died of colon cancer. He was then sent to live with his grandmother, who likewise urged him to stay off the street and focus on things like school and basketball.
A rising star
By the time he hit high school, Lamar was getting national attention. He was named Player of the Year by Parade magazine and even made it to USA Today’s All-USA First Team.
He initially attended the University of Nevada, but Sports Illustrated questioned his ACT (American College Testing) score. He had to transfer to the University of Rhode Island, but was not allowed to play during that season. After the following season in 1999, Lamar declared his eligibility to play for the NBA and he was selected by the Los Angeles Clippers.
Fame and fortune
The Clippers was infamous for its losing record before they got Lamar. But wiithin three seasons, they were a contender for a playoff spot. When he became a free agent, the Miami Heat picked him up and with Dwayne Wade, Lamar helped lead Miami to its first playoff series win in four years. He also represented the US in the Olympics back in 2004. When he joined the LA Lakers the following season, he really shined. Lamar helped the popular team win two NBA championships.
In 2013, Lamar was arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence. He checked into rehab but reportedly only stayed for some 24 hours. Amidst this and infidelity rumors, Khloe Kardashian filed for divorce later that year.
In 2014, Lamar was signed with the New York Knicks, a team that eventually chose to let him go due to his “[inability] to uphold the standards to return as an NBA player.”
Then in 2015, Lamar made international headlines as he was found unresponsive in a Nevada brothel. It was later determined that the athlete had been at the brothel for several days and was taking herbal sexual stimulants. Cocaine was found in his system and he was on a breathing tube for a more than a day.
Taking it slow
By January 2016, Khloe went on the record and said Lamar was “doing amazing.” And then in April, Lamar said he wanted to get back on the court and play professionally again. At 37-years-old, it definitely isn’t an impossibility.
We’re rooting for you!