On Tuesday, two-time NBA champion and former Sixth Man of the Year Lamar Odom took to Instagram to declare that he has been saved by Christ.
>> Subscribe to Sports Spectrum Magazine for more stories where sports and faith connect <<
Odom posted two pictures that capture the powerful moment at The Word Church, a church with multiple locations in Northeast Ohio.
Odom’s caption read: “Nowadays I’m doing the best I can in walking with the Lord. Thanks to Pastor Vernon @dravernon, I got saved at @thewordchurch this weekend. I had to show Jesus my appreciation for keeping me alive!”
Odom last played in the NBA with the Los Angeles Clippers in 2013, after starting his career with that franchise as the fourth overall pick out of Rhode Island in 1999. He impressed in his first season with Los Angeles from the small forward position, being named to the All-Rookie first team in 2000.
After a one-year stint with the Miami Heat in 2003-2004, Odom was traded back to Los Angeles, this time with the Lakers. Odom hit his stride there as a key contributor on two Lakers championship teams in 2009 and 2010. In 2011, his last with L.A., Odom won the NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award.
He finished his NBA career by spending one year with the Dallas Mavericks in 2012 and one with the Clippers in 2013. He signed with the Knicks in 2014 but never appeared in a game.
Odom also had his share of off-the-court incidents throughout his basketball career.
Odom had committed to play college basketball at UNLV, but wound up at Rhode Island after UNLV revoked his scholarship due to an arrest for soliciting prostitution. In the NBA, Odom was twice suspended for violating the NBA’s anti-drug policy. He married Khloe Kardashian in 2009 in a widely publicized and turbulent relationship, but the couple signed divorce papers in July 2015. Then in October 2015, Odom reached rock bottom when he was found unconscious in a Nevada brothel after overdosing on cocaine and other drugs. Odom was near death and in a coma for four days, but he slowly recovered.
He recovered so well that in 2018, the then-38-year-old announced his return to basketball on Instagram.
View this post on Instagram
I have some good news to share with you on this beautiful day from The Netherlands. My heart literally warms up now I can finally share with you all that I'm returning to play Basketball. I will be playing in China ! God is good ! Thanks lord for giving me another chance in life and thank you fans for your the 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. Basketball and my children have always been the light in my life and this is where my focus is right now. Thank you @mr2rchiang and @iamzoul @georgeboss77 for believing in me and the opportunity to start over again! Thank you @starburymarbury for being my inspiration 🙏🏿🏆❤️ LETS GOO ! #china #basketball #yes
“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 played briefly in the Big 3 in 2019, a 3-on-3 basketball league organized by the rapper Ice Cube.
Join us in praying for Lamar Odom as he begins his new walk with Jesus Christ, saved by grace through faith.
– Lamar Odom credits God for second chance, announces return to basketball
– Magic Johnson more involved in church after stepping away from L.A. Lakers
– Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal signs contract extension, aims to give God glory
– GAWVI brings faith to the intersection of sports and hip-hop