The last time we saw Lamar Odom on a basketball court, he was playing overseas in Spain back in 2014. In October 2015, Odom was found unconscious in a Las Vegas brothel and was hospitalized with a drug overdose. He fell into a coma, suffered 12 strokes and six heart attacks. Odom almost lost his life, and at the time, it was believed that he lost the rest of his playing days, too.
These days, Odom is doing much better. He seems to be healthy and sober and looking forward to playing in the Big 3 as a co-captain of Enemies with Gilbert Arenas. While Odom’s overall health is doing better, he’s still suffering from some of the effects of the coma and subsequent heart problems, according to the Los Angeles Times.
“My memory is really bad,” Odom said in the interview. “I can’t remember anything. My short-term memory is really bad. … I wish I could explain it but I can’t. It’s tough and it’s really frustrating. If there’s a poster child for Alzheimer’s, I’m probably it. It’s something I’m scared of. I think I need to go see a doctor at some point and see if I can work on that. It’s scary.”
The former NBA Sixth Man of the Year seems to understand how serious his health situation was and how unlikely it is that he should even have the ability to play basketball again.
“I always knew I had a strong will. I think my will is even stronger than I believed it was. It’s a testament that God is good,” he said. “When I woke up [from the coma] and I couldn’t talk or walk I never thought I would be here. I never thought I would play basketball again or talk to you. Just to be here is a win for me.”
During his prime, Odom was one of the most unique players in the NBA. He was a 6-foot-11 forward with ball-handling abilities and passing vision like a point guard. So many versatile big men who have come into the league over the last 10 years exist because players like Odom made it possible for them to experiment with their games outside of the paint.
The Big 3 is in its third year and continues to grow in both players and viewership.