Lamar Odom Announces His Return to Professional Basketball
via Complex: More than five years after his last NBA game, the 39-year-old athlete announced he will return to professional basketball in 2019. Odom shared the news via Instagram on Tuesday, stating his intention to play in the Dubai International Basketball Championship in February. The two-time NBA champion will represent a team from the Philippines.
Back in November, Odom told Clutch Points he had plans to join the BIG3 League as well as the Chinese Basketball Association in 2019; however, he has chosen to delay those plans to further improve his physical health.
“To me this is a great warming up for the @thebig3,” he wrote on social media. “It’s been a minute since I’ve professionally competed and I hope to be as explosive as I used to be! I was hoping to be ready for the Chinese CBA earlier this year but I didn’t feel that I was physically [where] I wanted to be. ( yet) I needed more time to recover from my multiple strokes and hearts attacks.”
Odom hasn’t appeared in a NBA game since 2013, when he was playing for the Clippers. Though he inked a deal with Knicks in April 2014, the team ultimately waived the contract in light of Odom’s reported struggles with addiction.
In 2015, the Queens native was hospitalized after he suffered a near-fatal drug overdose. Odom recently spoke about his health scare during an appearance on Kevin Hart’s Cold As Balls series.
“All my doctors that see me say I’m a walking miracle,” the athlete told Hart. “[…] I had twelve strokes and six heart attacks when I was in the coma.”
Odom says he is now sober and is committed to returning to basketball.