When the Dallas Mavericks were slow getting out of the gate this year, a lot of people blamed the notorious “championship hangover,” but there were some who wanted to pin a lot of the blame on the newly acquired Lamar Odom. Dallas got Odom for next to nothing but people still expected him to put up the same numbers he did in L.A.
It turns out, Odom’s mind may not have been in the right place at the start of the season, he was actually considering taking a whole year off or more from the NBA. In July, his 24-year-old cousin was murdered and a few days later he was a passenger in a car accident that killed a pedestrian. Obviously that would rattle anyone, Odom thought he should take some time off to move past it.
“Cause I was asking myself: ‘Was I mentally prepared to play? If I didn’t play well, was I mentally prepared to help the team?’ I had thought, ‘Maybe I need a year.’ Because of the lockout, I thought, ‘Maybe somebody’s sending me a sign that I needed this time off.’
“(But) when I told some of my friends and my family that I was thinking about steppin’ back for a minute, I think the reaction from the closest people to me kind of gave me the energy to get back at it.”
I admire Odom for not walking away from the game. If he had stayed at home with nothing to do, all those things would have tortured him until he went crazy. Not too mention he had to deal with the team he had been with for seven years wanting to trade him away, he’s got a lot going on in his head right now.
He’s off to a slow start this year, but as Dallas continues to get back in the groove, they’ll be looking for Odom to improve as well. Hopefully he can move past all the stuff he’s had to deal with and get back to playing like a champion.