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Friday, 27 June 2014
BLACK SOCIAL HISTORY : AFRICAN AMERICAN PROFESSIONAL BASKETBALL PLAYER WHO CURRENTLY PLAYS FOR THE NEW YORK KNICKS OF THE NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION (NBA) : GOES INTO THE " HALL OF BLACK GENIUS "
BLACK SOCIAL HISTORY Lamar Joseph Odom (born November 6, 1979) is an American professional basketball player who currently plays for the New York Knicks of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He was named NBA Sixth Man of the Year and won two NBA championships as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers. Odom played college basketball for the Rhode Island Rams before being drafted in the first round with the fourth overall pick by the Los Angeles Clippers in the 1999 NBA Draft. He was named to the NBA All-Rookie Team and played four seasons with the Clippers. He signed as a restricted free agent with the Miami Heat, where he played one season before being traded to the Lakers. Odom spent seven seasons with the Lakers, who traded him to Dallas. He was traded back to the Clippers in 2012.
Odom was born in South Jamaica, Queens, New York City, New York. His father was a heroin addict and his mother died of colon cancer when he was twelve years old. He was raised by his grandmother Mildred.
In his first three years of high school, Odom played for Christ The King Regional High School in Middle Village, Queens. He transferred first to Redemption Christian Academy in Troy, New York for the basketball season and then to the now-defunct St. Thomas Aquinas High School in New Britain, Connecticut. Odom was named the Parade Magazine Player of the Year in 1997. He was named to the USA Today All-USA 1st Team as a senior. During his youth, Odom was teamed with future NBA players Elton Brand and Ron Artest on the same AAU team.
In 1997, Odom attended the University of Nevada at Las Vegas and enrolled in summer classes. However, after a Sports Illustrated report questioned his unexpectedly high score of 22 out of 36 in the ACT, the school released him in July. That same summer, he received a citation for soliciting prostitution following an undercover operation by the Las Vegas police.Later, an NCAA inquiry found Odom received payments amounting to $5,600 from booster David Chapman. Coach Bill Bayno was fired and UNLV was placed on probation for four years. Odom transferred to the University of Rhode Island but was forced to sit out the 1997–98 season.
Odom played one season at Rhode Island in the Atlantic 10 Conference, where he scored 17.6 points per game and led the Rams to the conference championship in 1999. His three-pointer against Temple University at the buzzer gave the Rams their first A-10 Tournament title.
Odom declared his eligibility for the 1999 NBA Draft after his freshman year at the Rhode Island in 1999. The 6 foot 10 inch forward was selected by the Los Angeles Clipperswith the fourth overall pick. In his first season with the Clippers, Odom averaged 16.6 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 4.2 assists per game, including 30 points and 12 rebounds in his NBA debut. He was named to the 2000 NBA All-Rookie First Team.
In the 2000-2001 season, Odom increased his scoring average to 17.2 points a game as he started in 74 games. The Clippers failed the make the playoffs again however, as the young team could not improve their positioning in the western conference. In the following season, Odom was suspended for violating the NBA's anti-drug policy for the second time in eight months. It has been said that Odom's suspension fits the punishment for use of marijuana, which is not subject to the NBA's harsher "Drugs of Abuse" rules. Around the time of the incident, he admitted to smoking marijuana. Odom only played 29 games during the season, and his production slipped.
He would only play in 49 games during the 2002-2003 season, and would be a restricted free agent the following summer. The Miami Heat offered a deal that the Clippers declined to match after already matching another offer Miami made to Elton Brand.
Miami had previously won only 25 games, but had drafted young talent such as Dwyane Wade and Caron Butler. Odom was brought in to play as the team's starting power forward, and along with the budding Wade and veteran Eddie Jones shared the scoring load with 17.1 points a game to go with a career high 9.7 rebounds. Miami opened the season losing 7 straight games, but ended up playing better and competing for a seed in the playoffs. On March 6th, Odom posted a triple double, scoring 30 points with 19 rebounds and 11 assists in a home win against the Sacramento Kings. The Heat would go on to the clinch the 4th seed in the playoffs, facing off the New Orleans Hornets in the first round. Each team won at home, and Miami would win a 7th deciding game to advance to the second round to face the number one seeded Indiana Pacers. The Pacers would win the first two games in Indiana, but Miami responded with two straight home wins, including a game 4 victory led by Odom's 22 points. The Pacers' experience proved to be too much for the younger Heat, as they would go to win games 5 and 6 to wrap up the series.  He had a solid season compared to his sub-par season with the Clippers the previous year.
After the season, Odom was traded in a package with Caron Butler and Brian Grant to the Los Angeles Lakers for All-Star Shaquille O'Neal.
In his first year with the Los Angeles Lakers, Odom incurred a left shoulder injury which forced him to miss the end of the 2004–05 NBA season.Despite Odom averaging 15.2 points and a career high 10.2 rebounds, the Lakers finished out of the playoffs for only the 5th time in franchise history. Following the 2004–05 season, they re-hired former coach Phil Jackson.
In the first half of the 2005–06 NBA season, Odom displayed inconsistency while playing with the Lakers. However, as Los Angeles progressed towards the end of the season, his performance steadily improved. Along the way, he posted consecutive triple-doubles for the first time as a Laker against the Golden State Warriors and Portland Trail Blazers. The Lakers were eliminated in 7 games in the first round of the playoffs against the Phoenix Suns, after the Lakers lost a 3–1 series lead. Odom averaged 14.8 points and 9.2 rebounds during the season and increased his scoring (19.1) and rebounds (11) in seven playoff games.
Battling injuries, Odom was limited to 56 games in the 2006–07 season, but finished with an average of 15.9 points and 9.8 rebounds per game. In a rematch of the previous year's series, the Lakers were again defeated by the Phoenix Suns in the first round of the 2007 NBA Playoffs.
After young center Andrew Bynum went down with a knee injury during the 2007–08 NBA season, and Pau Gasol was acquired by the Lakers midseason, Odom played well, averaging 15.3 points, 12 rebounds, and 4 assists per game. Odom finished the season with 14.2 ppg 10.6 rpg and 3.5 apg. Odom's numbers were down in the Finals, however, where he averaged 13.5 points, 9.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game, with the Lakers losing in the 2008 NBA Finals to the Boston Celtics.
At the beginning of the 2008–09 NBA season, Odom was moved to the bench and served as a sixth man, backing up the Lakers' frontcourt of Gasol and Bynum. When Bynum was injured in a game against the Memphis Grizzlies in January, Odom returned to the starting lineup. In the month of February, Odom, playing 36 minutes per game, averaged 16.5 points, 13.4 rebounds (4.9 offensive and 9.5 defensive), 2.4 assists, 1.4 blocks, and .9 steals. The February run included a good performance at Quicken Loans Arena at Cleveland. With 15 points in the 3rd quarter, Odom helped the Lakers out of a 12-point deficit to turn it into a 10 point victory, breaking Cleveland's 23 game home win-streak. He finished the game with 28 points, 17 rebounds and 2 assists.
Odom adjusted back to his sixth man role when Bynum returned for an April 9 home matchup versus the Denver Nuggets. Odom finished his season with 11.3 points, 8.2 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 1.0 steals and 1.7 blocks with 29.7 minutes per game. He won his first NBA championship when the Lakers defeated the Orlando Magic in the 2009 NBA Finals.
During the 2009 Los Angeles Lakers off-season as a free agent, Odom was courted heavily by the Miami Heat, the team that traded him to the Lakers in 2004. Despite pleas from Miami guard Dwyane Wade Kobe Bryant remained optimistic Odom would return to Los Angeles to team up with newly acquired forward and Odom's fellow New Yorker, Ron Artest. After a month of tedious negotiations, on July 31, 2009 the Lakers announced that they had agreed to a four-year deal worth up to $33 million with Odom. The investment would pay off as Odom would play a crucial role for the Lakers on the way to another NBA Championship, with the Lakers winning over the Boston Celtics in the 2010 NBA Finals.
Odom continued his strong play for the Lakers with another solid season in the 2010–11 season where he posted career highs in 3 point shooting percentage (.382) and overall field goal percentage (.530). He started 35 games in Bynum's absence during the season and averaged 16.3 points and 10.2 rebounds in those starts. In 47 games off the bench, Odom averaged 13.5 points, 7.5 rebounds in 28.4 minutes. Meeting the requirement to come in as a reserve more games than he started, Odom was awarded the NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award, becoming the first player in Lakers history to do so. During the offseason, he considered taking a break from basketball after a close cousin died and Odom was a passenger in a SUV involved in an accident that killed a teenage cyclist.
On December 11, 2011, Odom was traded to the Dallas Mavericks for a first-round draft pick and an $8.9 million trade exception after NBA commissioner David Stern vetoed a proposed three-team trade that would have sent Odom and Rockets teammates Kevin Martin, Luis Scola, and Goran Dragić to the New Orleans Hornets; Chris Paul to the Lakers; and Pau Gasol to the Houston Rockets. Odom felt "disrespected" after he learned of the Hornets trade publicly, and he requested a trade from the Lakers to another contending team. The Lakers were also concerned that Odom's contract was pricey since he was not needed to initiate the triangle offense with Mike Brown replacing Phil Jackson as Lakers coach. The deal was confirmed by the Mavericks on December 11.
On March 2, 2012, Odom was assigned to the Texas Legends of the NBA D-League. He had missed the prior three games due to personal reasons. His stint with the Legends was canceled on March 3, 2012 and he returned to the Mavs' active roster. On March 24, Odom did not play in a 104–87 loss to the San Antonio Spurs, the first time he could remember not playing due to a coach's decision.
On April 9, 2012, it was announced that Odom had parted ways with the Mavericks. Instead of releasing him, the team listed Odom inactive for the remainder of the season. The move allowed the Mavericks to trade him at the end of the season. In a statement to ESPN, Odom said, "I'm sorry that things didn't work out better for both of us, but I wish the Mavs' organization, my teammates and Dallas fans nothing but continued success in the defense of their championship." Mavericks owner Mark Cuban admitted that a clash between the two during halftime in a game against the Memphis Grizzlies on April 7 was the last straw. Odom reportedly responded angrily when Cuban questioned his commitment, asking if he was "in or out."
On June 29, 2012, Odom was traded back to the Los Angeles Clippers as part of a four-team deal. The deal sent Odom to the Clippers, the rights to Tadija Dragićević and cash considerations to the Dallas Mavericks, Mo Williams and the draft rights to Shan Foster to the Utah Jazz, and the draft rights to Furkan Aldemir to the Houston Rockets. Odom became only the 15th former Laker to play with the crosstown Clippers. He played all 82 games of the season for the third time in his career, but only started 2 of them. He averaged 4.0 ppg, 5.9 rpg, and 1.7 apg in 19.7 mpg during the season. The Los Angeles Clippers finished 56-26 and won their first ever Pacific Division title.
In July 2013, Odom became a free agent and has been reportedly attempting to re-sign with the Clippers sometime within the 2013–14 season.
On February 18, 2014, Odom signed with Laboral Kutxa of the Spanish ACB League on a two-month deal with an option to extend it for the remainder of the season. A month later, he returned to the United States due to a back injury as Odom's personal doctors in New York ruled him unfit to play out his contract. He managed just two games for Laboral.
On April 16, 2014, Odom signed with the New York Knicks for the remainder of the 2013–14 season, but did not appear in their season finale. The Knicks finished 37-45 and missed the playoffs.
Odom played in the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens for the US national team, averaging 9.3 ppg while helping the US to a bronze medal. He was invited to play for the FIBAWorld Championships for 2006 but declined the invitation because of the tragic death of his son and in 2007 because of a shoulder injury.
Odom would, however, be invited back for the National Team's run at the 2010 FIBA World Championship in Istanbul, Turkey where the US would win Gold for the first time since 1994. Odom, being one of the elder statesmen on a young US squad, served as a mentor for many of the younger players and even played out of position at Center for the tournament. He led the US in rebounds and finished the FIBA championships with double-doubles in the semi-final and championship games while becoming the first player in history to win both an NBA championship and FIBA Gold in the same year.
Odom was featured in professional skateboarder Rob Dyrdek's MTV show Fantasy Factory. He also made a cameo appearance in the music video for "We Made It" by Busta Rhymes and Linkin Park. Odom also has his own music and film production company, Rich Soil Entertainment. He appeared in a Taco Bell commercial with Charles Barkley during Super Bowl XLIV. Additionally, Odom made a cameo on the second season of the HBO television series Entourage.
Odom is noted for his fondness for candy. Wrigley made a replica of the Larry O'Brien Championship Trophy out of candy in celebration of the Lakers' victory in the 2009 Finals, and Odom's name is featured on the base.
Odom has three children, Destiny (b. 1998), Lamar Jr. (b. 2002), and Jayden (b. 2005-2006), with his ex-girlfriend Liza Morales. On June 29, 2006, Odom's 6½-month-old infant son Jayden died from SIDS while sleeping in his crib in New York.
In September 2009, Odom married Khloé Kardashian. Their wedding was featured on the E! reality-based series Keeping Up with the Kardashians, which Khloé stars in, with Odom appearing in a handful of episodes. On December 29, 2010, E! announced that it was planning another spinoff from the series featuring Lamar, Khloé and his two children from his previous relationship. The new series, titled Khloé & Lamar, debuted on April 10, 2011.
On August 30, 2013, Odom was arrested on charges of driving under the influence. On December 9, 2013, Odom pleaded no contest to the charge and accepted a sentence of three years' probation and three months of alcohol abuse treatment.
On December 13, 2013 after months of speculated separation, Khloé filed for divorce from Lamar, and for legal restoration of her last name.
On June 21, 2014 it was reported that Lamar Odom is refusing to sign divorce papers because he wants Khloé Kardashian back.