Lamar Odom Biography
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Also Known As: Lamar Joseph Odom
Born in: South Jamaica, New York City, New York, United States
Famous as: Basketball Player
Spouse/Ex-: Khloé Kardashian (m. 2009–2016)
father: Joe Odom
mother: Cathy Mercer
children: Destiny Odom, Jayden Odom, Lamar Odom Jr
City: New York City
education: United States Army War College
Lamar Joseph Odom is an American former basketball player who spent most of his professional career with the ‘National Basketball Association’ (NBA) team ‘Los Angeles Lakers’. He was one of the key figures in the team’s consecutive ‘NBA Championship’ victories in 2009 and 2010. Raised by his grandmother, he had a tremulous childhood but his talent on the court always shone through. He was named the national player of the year by ‘Parade’ magazine as a high school student. In his college years, he received all-conference honours in the only season he competed in the ‘Atlantic 10 Conference’. He made his NBA debut with the ‘Los Angeles Clippers’, and was included in the ‘NBA All-Rookie Team’. In a career spanning 15 years, he had also worn the colors of the ‘Miami Heat’, ‘Dallas Mavericks’, and the Spanish club ‘Laboral Kutxa Baskonia’. He became the subject of a different kind of fame when he married reality TV star Khloé Kardashian and appeared on her show, ‘Keeping Up with the Kardashians’. He has faced substance abuse problems throughout the major part of his life, the effects of which on his personal and professional life have been substantial.
- Lamar Odom was born in South Jamaica, a residential neighbourhood in the borough of the Queens in New York City, on November 6, 1979, to Joe Odom and Cathy Mercer. He grew up in his maternal grandmother Midred Mercer’s household as his mother passed away due to colon cancer when he was 12 and his father was a heroin addict.
- Odom was transferred from one school to another because of his poor grades. He studied at the ‘Christ The King Regional High School’ in Middle Village, Queens and ‘Redemption Christian Academy’ in Troy, before attending the now-defunct ‘St. Thomas Aquinas High School’ in New Britain, Connecticut.
- Initially trained in basketball by Jerry DeGregorio, he played alongside his future teammates Elton Brand, Ron Artest, and Kobe Bryant as a teenager.
- After concluding that he was not ready to jump straight to the NBA from school, he enrolled at the ‘University of Nevada’ at Las Vegas. The university released him in July 1997, amid several controversies, including the charges of soliciting prostitutes.
- He began to attend the ‘University of Rhode Island’ in the same year but didn’t play any game for two semesters and a summer session. He then heralded the Rams’ successful ‘A-10 Tournament’ campaign, averaging 17.6 per game.
- Lamar Odom was chosen by ‘Los Angeles Clippers’ in the ‘1999 NBA Draft’ as their fourth overall pick. While he did have a successful stint with the team on the court, he was suspended two times for violating NBA’s drug policy. On the second time, he admitted to using marijuana. He was a restricted free agent in 2003 until ‘Miami Heat’ made an offer.
- He played only the 2003-04 season for the ‘Miami Heat’ as a starting forward. He scored 13.1 per game with 9.7 points on rebounds in the Heat’s 4th seed finish in the playoffs. Odom, with Caron Butler and Brian Grant, was traded to the ‘Los Angeles Lakers’ for Shaquille O'Neal at the end of the season.
- Although he suffered a left soldier injury at the end of his first season with the Lakers, he put up an impressive 15.2 points per game average. He showed consistency in the following three seasons, including posting consecutive triple doubles against the ‘Golden State Warriors’ and ‘Portland Trail Blazers’ in April 2006, and playing an important role in the Lakers reaching the ‘2008 NBA Finals’.
- He was benched for the most part of the 2008-09 season as the Lakers’ sixth man after he came at the pre-season training camp out of shape. Despite the initial misgivings, he embraced his new role in the team. After the season, he refused an offer from Miami and remained with the Lakers.
- The back-to-back seasons of 2008-09 and 2009-10 proved to be the best ones in his career. He was instrumental in the Lakers’ consecutive ‘NBA Championships’ wins, averaging 11.3 and 10.8 points respectively. He was associated with the Lakers for one more season before being traded to ‘Dallas Mavericks’.
- Odom’s experience with the Mavericks had been less than positive. He made a return to the Clippers for the 2012-13 season but scored a meagre 4.0 points per game. In 2014, he played two games for the ‘Spanish League’ team ‘Laboral Kutxa Baskonia’, which were to be the last games in his professional career. He did sign to ‘New York Knicks’ after coming back to the US but did not appear in any games for them.
- He had represented his country at the ‘2004 Summer Olympics’ and ‘2010 FIBA World Championships’, winning bronze and gold medals respectively.
- Odom had made regular appearances in E!’s reality TV show ‘Keeping Up with the Kardashians’ as the husband of Khloé Kardashian. They got their own show ‘Khloé & Lamar’ which premiered on April 10, 2011. It was taken off the air after two seasons. Odom said that the constant filming had worn him down.
- The ’Parade’ magazine named Lamar Odom the ‘Player of the Year’ in 1997, for his stellar performance as a senior for the ‘St. Thomas Aquinas’ high school. He was also named All-American twice by ‘Parade’, in 1996 and 1997.
- In 1999, he was hailed as the ‘Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Year’ and was part of the conference’s first team.
- He was one of the members of the ‘2000 NBA All-Rookie First Team’ in 2000.
- He was conferred with the ‘NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award’ for the 2010-11 season.
- Lamar Odom met fashion designer Liza Morales while they were both in high school. They dated through college and the first phase of his career in the NBA before splitting up in 2007. They have two children together, a daughter, Destiny (born 1998) and a son, Lamar Jr. (2002). Their third child, Jayden (2005), died from ‘sudden infant death syndrome’ (SIDS) when he was only six and a half months old.
- After a month-long courtship, Odom married Khloe Kardashian on September 27, 2009, at a private residence in Beverly Hills. She filed for divorce and the restoration of her last name on December 13, 2013, almost four years after marriage. The related papers were signed by July 2015.
- Before the divorce was to be finalised, Odom was found unconscious in a brothel named ‘Love Ranch’ in Crystal, Nevada, and was taken to a hospital. He was in a coma and had been put on life support. Kardashian halted the divorce proceeding and stayed with her estranged husband until he fully recovered. She filed for divorce a second time on May 26, 2016. It was made official on December 17, 2016.
- He was arrested on August 30, 2013, for driving under the influence (DUI). He pleaded no contest to the charges, receiving 36 months of probation and three months of alcohol abuse treatment at the sentence on December 9. He was also asked to pay $1,814 in fines. There were also rumours of drug abuse, but Odom vehemently denied them.
- At her deathbed, Odom’s mother told him to “Be nice to everybody.”
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