Lamar Odom’s attempt to reboot his basketball career lasted one game.
The two-time NBA champion, whose career and life unraveled due to drug addiction, was one of four former NBA players “deactivated” for the season Wednesday by the Big3, the 3-on-3 league created by Ice Cube.
Per those with knowledge of the situation, Odom, Jermaine O’Neal, Bonzi Wells and Baron Davis were all deactivated for competitive reasons and not due to any off-the-court issues. Odom was not “up to it from a competitive standpoint,” per a source.
Last year, Odom announced that he would play in this year’s edition of the Big3. He last played in the NBA for the LA Clippers during the 2012-13 season. He was hospitalized after being found unresponsive at a Las Vegas brothel following a drug overdose in 2015. By then, his high-profile relationship with reality TV star Khloe Kardashian had fallen apart.
Per Odom, he had six strokes and 12 heart attacks while he was in a coma following the overdose.
The Big3 did not specify a reason for the deactivations, saying only that the moves were tied to the league’s desire to “maximize competition, protect the health of the players, and to raise the level of the professionalism of the Big3.”
Entering the season, Odom said he was a ready for a comeback after being named a co-captain of The Enemies squad. But after struggling in his first game, Odom said in a televised interview that he’d excel “once I got my rhythm back, it should be no problem.” He didn’t play again.
In its third season, the Big3 has increased the level of competition and graduated from being a pickup league for over-the-hill former pros to an organization that’s giving players like Royce White, a former first-round pick, a possible springboard back into the NBA.
Joe Johnson, a seven-time NBA all-star, has been an unstoppable force this season, leading the league in scoring.
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