The former NBA star, who nearly died of a drug overdose, wrote that he was staging a comeback in order to "show people that you can overcome addiction"

By Rachel DeSantis
July 11, 2019 11:25 AM
Lamar Odom
Jamie Squire/Getty

Lamar Odom has suffered another setback in his attempts to revive his basketball career.

The former NBA star, 39, was deactivated from the BIG3 league on Wednesday after having played just one game as co-captain of the Enemies.

“Effectively immediately, Baron Davis, Bonzi Wells, Lamar Odom, and Jermaine O’Neal will be deactivated for the 2019 BIG3 season,” a press release from the league reads.

The release said the decision to drop Odom and his fellow players came “after a series of consultations with players, coaches and league leadership.”

“Such changes are being implemented to maximize competition, protect the health of players, and to raise the level of the professionalism of the BIG3,” it read.

BIG3, a 3-on-3 league co-founded by Ice Cube in 2017, had long been a goal for Odom, who frequently spoke on social media of his excitement at wading back into the waters of playing professional basketball after a near-fatal drug overdose in 2015.

RELATED VIDEO: Lamar Odom Opens Up About Overdosing, Sex Addiction and His Relationship with Ex-Wife Khloé Kardashian

A source told ESPN that Odom’s benching was not related to any off-the-court issues, but because he was not “up to it from a competitive standpoint.”

Odom announced in December he would return to the court to compete in the Dubai International Tournament in February for a Filipino team and hoped to use the competition to help prepare him for the BIG3.

RELATED: Lamar Odom Says Khloé Kardashian Is Still the Love of His Life: ‘I Wake Up Hoping’ There’s a Chance

“To me this is a great warming up for the @thebig3 !! It’s been a minute since I’ve professionally competed and I hope to be as explosive as I used to be!” he wrote on Instagram.

The athlete, who won two NBA championships with the Los Angeles Lakers, joined the BIG3 draft pool in February, and on May 1 was drafted to the Enemies as co-captain alongside Gilbert Arenas.

Odom played just one game for the team in June, saying in a post-game interview that once he got his “rhythm back,” the pace of the game “should be no problem.”

He last played in the NBA in 2013 for the Los Angeles Clippers, and two years later, was found unconscious after checking into a Las Vegas brothel.

The athlete wrote in his recently released memoir Darkness to Light that he was close to death after overdosing on a combination of drugs and alcohol.

RELATED: Khloé Kardashian Sweetly Celebrates Success of Lamar Odom’s New Book: ‘Congratulations Lammy!’

“There was an unholy concoction of cocaine, cognac and cannabis coursing through my veins,” he wrote. “My heart stopped twice. I had twelve seizures and six strokes. My lungs collapsed and my kidneys ruptured. I was on life support. Everyone I’d ever loved was looking at me through bleary eyes.”

Odom awoke three days later, but told PEOPLE in June he was initially unable to speak or walk.

Since then, he’s slowly made attempts to mount a comeback, noting his struggles along the way.

“The reason I am making a comeback to basketball is because I REFUSE to listen to my fears but instead follow my heart,” he wrote on Instagram in April. “My heart, telling me that I have to play basketball one more time to show people that you can OVERCOME addiction and LIVE a happy life enjoying the little things. I used to win NBA championships and chances are small that I will ever be playing on NBA level or maybe I will. Who knows?”

Advertisement



EDIT POST