Summer 2024

Lamar Odom credits God for second chance, announces return to basketball

Five years after last playing on an NBA court, Lamar Odom is returning to basketball.

That’s what the 38-year-old announced on Instagram Thursday, saying he “will be playing in China.” Naming NBA All-Star-turned-Chinese Basketball Association champion Stephon Marbury as inspiration, he said his kids and basketball are the “light of my life” and the center of his focus in 2018.

It’s God, however, who received most of the credit for Odom’s latest rebound.

“My heart literally warms now (that) I can finally share with you all that I’m returning to play basketball,” he wrote. “God is good! Thanks, Lord, for giving me another chance in life and thank you, fans, for your love and support during all those hard years. Never give up on yourself, and keep believing that only God can create the miracles you’re hoping for.”

Odom’s return to the court marks another potential turnaround for a player who’s encountered headlining highs and lows since joining the NBA as the fourth overall pick of the Los Angeles Clippers in 1998. A two-time NBA champ, he spent four years in L.A. before a breakout with the Miami Heat and a title-winning seven-year stint with the Lakers. After brief stretches back with the Clippers, with the Dallas Mavericks, the New York Knicks and in the Spanish League, Odom fizzled out amid admissions of drug use, marital affairs and a 2015 hospitalization.

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