In a throng of tall and muscular players, the Los Angeles Lakers team locked their arms together forming a circle. In the middle was the unusual centerpiece. He was not the team’s star player, nor the second option in offense. Lamar Odom, the 6-foot-10 forward who plays like a point guard stood tall as he shouted “We’re the best team in the NBA”. He started bouncing and the whole team bounced with him.
Many questioned him about not taking over the game, with his height and skills, he could have been a superstar. He could have been a max player who wouldn’t have to worry about stability in the NBA. But in spite of all the criticism that came his way, Lamar always stood out. He plays with an unselfish style that sometimes opposing players would not dare to guard him because he will always try to pass the ball. Maybe it’s about how good basketball had been to him and tries to pass it forward by making his teammate feel good, from losing his mother to cancer when he was 12, from his grandmother who raised him up, died 12 years later. From his 6-month old son, Jayden who died from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome in 2006. Basketball has always been his refuge and his sanctuary. It’s what keeps him sane and happy. You just have to wonder how he does it. A single loss of a loved one is too much to bear. And yet, Lamar took whatever bad things life has to offer and made lemonades with a smile.
After the news broke out about Lamar found unconscious last Tuesday at a brothel just 80 miles outside Las Vegas. And believed to have multiple drugs on his system, including an alternative herbal Viagra. You just have to shake your head in disbelief. This isn’t the Hollywood ending to a man who battled the game of life at an early age and conquered everything to the top.
Maybe after a failed career and a publicized divorce with Khloe Kardashian, There was no safety switch that he could go back on whenever things went wrong. His last place of hope (basketball) had abandoned him. Usually when you got nothing left, there’s no really no point on holding on. His personal demons finally got into him.
Looking back at everything, from all the criticism, pains and heartaches, the Lakers unusual centerpiece always stood out.
Fighting for his dear life, we all know Lamar Odom will always find a way.
When he starts bouncing, we all bounce with him.