Lamar Joseph Odom was born on November 6, 1979, is an American professional basketball forward for the Los Angeles Lakers. Odom was born in South Jamaica, Queens, New York. His father was a heroin addict & his mother died of colon cancer when he was 12 years old. He was raised by his grandmother Mildred. In his first 3 years of high school, Odom played for Christ The King Regional High School in Middle Village, New York. He transferred 1st to Redemption Christian Academy in Troy, New York for the basketball season and then to St. Thomas Aquinas High School in New Britain, Connecticut. Odom was named the Parade Magazine Player of the Year in 1997. He was named to the USA Today All-USA 1st Team as a senior. During his youth, Odom was teamed with Elton Brand of the Philadelphia 76ers and Ron Artest of the Los Angeles Lakers on the same AAU team.
Lamar Odom Bio
In 1997, Odom attended University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) & was enrolled in summer classes. Following an academic scandal, an NCAA inquiry found Odom received payments amounting to $5,600 from booster David Chapman. Coach Bill Bayno was fired & UNLV was placed on probation for four years. Odom then transferred to the University of Rhode Island, but had to sit out the 1997-98 season. Odom played one season at Rhode Island in the Atlantic 10 Conference, where he scored 17.6 points per game & led the Rams to the conference championship in 1999. His 3-pointer against Temple at the buzzer gave the Rams their 1st A-10 Tournament title. At the beginning of the 2008–09 NBA season, Odom was moved to the bench & served as a sixth man, backing up the Lakers’ frontcourt of Gasol & Bynum. When Bynum was injured in a game against the Memphis Grizzlies in January, Odom returned to the starting lineup. In the month of February, Odom, playing 36 minutes per game, averaged 16.5 points, 13.4 rebounds (4.9 offensive and 9.5 defensive), 2.4 assists, 1.4 blocks, & .9 steals. The February run included a good performance at Quicken Loans Arena at Cleveland. with 15 points in the 3rd quarter, Odom helped the Lakers out of a 12 point deficit to turn it into a 10 point victory, breaking Cleveland’s 23 game home win-streak. He finished the game with 28 points, 17 rebounds & 2 assists. Odom changed back to his sixth man role when Bynum returned on an April 9 home matchup versus the Denver Nuggets. Odom finished his season with 11.3 points, 8.2 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 1.0 steals and 1.7 blocks w/ 29.7 minutes per game. He won his first NBA championship when the Lakers defeated the Orlando Magic in the 2009 NBA Finals. During the 2009 Los Angeles Lakers off-season as a free agent, Odom was courted heavily by the Miami Heat, the team that traded him to the Lakers in 2004. Despite pleas from Miami guard Dwyane Wade and Heat Executive Pat Riley, Kobe Bryant remained optimistic Odom would return to Los Angeles to team up with newly obtained forward and Odom’s fellow New Yorker, Ron Artest. After a month of tedious negotiations, on July 31, 2009 the Lakers announced that they had accorded to a four-year deal worth up to $33 million with Odom. In 2010 Odom won another NBA Championship against the Boston Celtics in the 2010 NBA Finals.
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