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Lamar Odom nearly took sabbatical this season over personal isssues

Jan 15, 2012, 11:00 AM EDT

Lamar Odom AP

Lost in discussions of his mental state on the floor and history, as well as the turmoil over a rejected trade that wasn’t good for two of the three teams anyway has been the fact that Lamar Odom had a rough summer. He was driving to the funeral of a cousin when his driver accidentally hit someone with the car. It’s been a rough year. So much so that Odom told ESPN he nearly took a year off from the game:

Left reeling by the July murder of his 24-year-old cousin and a fatal car accident days later that killed a teen pedestrian after the car he was riding in as a passenger collided with a motorcycle, Odom told ESPN.com that he had to be convinced by wife Khloe Kardashian to scrap his plans for a hiatus.

“Real close,” Odom said when asked Saturday how close he came to asking the Lakers for a season-long sabbatical.

“My wife talked me out of it.

“Cause I was asking myself: ‘Was I mentally prepared to play? If I didn’t play well, was I mentally prepared to help the team?’ I had thought, ‘Maybe I need a year.’ Because of the lockout, I thought, ‘Maybe somebody’s sending me a sign that I needed this time off.’

“(But) when I told some of my friends and my family that I was thinking about steppin’ back for a minute, I think the reaction from the closest people to me kind of gave me the energy to get back at it.”

via Dallas Mavericks’ Lamar Odom says he was ‘real close’ to walking away from game during offseason – ESPN Dallas.

Odom also talks about how he’s no longer doing this ” for himself but for his family.” There’s definitely a separation in terms of motivation for Odom, based on both his recent experiences and the trade to Dallas.

It’s easy to get lost in the basketball aspects of the game while ignoring the very real texture of these players as human beings who go through things like anyone does in their life, albeit with more money and less struggle. But the concern with Odom is that his heart very much does not seem into it any more. His play is lethargic and his conditioning has been bad. It’s easy to point the finger and torch him from a comfortable seat in front of a computer, but clearly Odom’s hurting. Basketball is not, and has not been the most important thing in his life for some time. That has consequences on his game.

It’s not time for Odom to hang it up. But a step away might not be the worst thing for him, just to clear his head and reset his priorities. He’s been through enough to warrant it. He’s only human after all.

  1. Tom G - Jan 15, 2012 at 11:15 AM

    here’s an idea,how bout shutting down that stupid reality show and focusing on basketball and your life in general.

  2. ocgunslinger - Jan 15, 2012 at 11:26 AM

    Lamar had much worse & tragic family problems a few years ago and handled the adversity at that time. It appears now that his life has become a 7/24 open book and that must be taking a toll. A year off may be best if his play is going to be compromised…. unless he wants to end the circus and concentrate on his integration into his new team.

  3. thraiderskin - Jan 15, 2012 at 11:56 AM

    I think what he was saying slinger, is that it has begun to wear on him, to a strong degree Tom is right. There is and has been too much going on for this man to focus on the game in a way Odom wants it to be. I personally think this makes Chloe look like the selfish b*tch, we have all begun to associate with the Kardashians. I do not see support, I see someone more worried about his career.

  4. illbilliv - Jan 15, 2012 at 12:23 PM

    BOO HOO Lamar Odom is sad!!! Welcome to reality!!!!!!

  5. max20characters - Jan 15, 2012 at 2:13 PM

    This guy needs to stop crying and get over the fact that the Lakers want nothing to do with him anymore! GET OVER IT! YOU’RE OVERRATED.

  6. mnsadsportsfan - Jan 15, 2012 at 2:51 PM

    Yes khloe does not want to miss an entire season of an NBA paycheck. Lamar is such a pu$$

  7. dysraw1 - Jan 15, 2012 at 3:55 PM

    dont worry big O people are stupid and insensitive to everybodys needs but their own.

  8. Mark Boland Jr - Jan 15, 2012 at 4:36 PM

    I think it was a mistake for odom to admit that he considered taking a year off. Now it is just one more thing people could criticize him for besides his poor play thus far. If you considered taking a year off but decided against it just keep it yourself. Now people start second guessing his commitment to the game.
    For more NBA news… http://dailygrindsports.com/2012/01/15/the-kobe-agenda/

  9. dolfan66r - Jan 15, 2012 at 4:48 PM

    He wanted to concentrate on the reality show

  10. 00maltliquor - Jan 15, 2012 at 5:42 PM

    He changed his mind about taking a year off after talking to his friends and family and seeing their reactions AKA everyone of his leaches on his payroll didn’t want to lose a year of an NBA paycheck, “whose gonna pay my cell phone, who’s gonna pay my rent, who’s gonna pay for my expensive habits??”

    Funny how L.O. said he’s gonna do this for his family now when that’s exactly what he’s been doing since his rookie contract. Shake them leaches and haters off Lamar! You don’t need that in your life baby, do you. And how about this for an idea, lose the damn reality show. Then you’ll really see if your wife has your back as you watch her true colors come out.

  11. jonirocit - Jan 15, 2012 at 5:50 PM

    I get the whole stress about the family thing and that’s all personal but do ya think the lakers we wrong for trading him if they knew all this ? I see why they did the deal now and he had no right to be upset at them for the trade.

  12. goforthanddie - Jan 15, 2012 at 6:41 PM

    Funny how all the outside distractions weren’t a problem until he was traded.
    Quit making excuses and play some damn ball.

  13. danielcp0303 - Jan 15, 2012 at 7:59 PM

    Some of you want athletes to be honest, but when they are you don’t like what you hear. Deal with it people. For the people saying he should stop whining…how about you all stop whining about him whining.

  14. weaselpuppy - Jan 15, 2012 at 9:15 PM

    I’m sure she talked him out of….who is gonna pay for all the coke and Twinkies that she is accustom to now that her waste of oxygen sister is radioactively toxic…coke and publicity doesn’t just grow on trees Lamar! Now get traded somewhere so me and my sisters can “do Dallas”…..

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