Another offseason rolled by, and for Phil Jackson that meant worrying that Lamar Odom would arrive to training camp out of shape.
But that surely pales to what the former Lakers forward has encountered this summer.
Reports emerged detailing addiction to crack cocaine and possible problems with his marriage with reality television star, Khloe Kardashian. Police arrested him on the suspicion of driving under the influence. And the former Laker and Clipper has yet to sign with an NBA team.
“Everybody that’s been close to him in my group … cannot get through to him,” Jackson told Seth Davis in an upcoming interview aired on Campusinsiders.com on Nov. 1 at 10:30 a.m. PST. “No one can get through to Lamar, basically I think he’s thrown his cellphone away.”
And with that, Jackson sounded conflicted about Odom’s marriage with Kardashian.
“We thought the Kardashian arrangement, or marriage, was a terrific thing for him because it’s a family, a structure, something that would give him support,” Jackson said. “Maybe it wasn’t.”
Odom has actually attributed some of success partly to his marriage to Kardashian in 2009 followed by the reality television show’s taping that demanded a heavy albeit organized schedule. After helping the Lakers to two NBA titles in 2009 and 2010, layed a large part in helping Team USA win the FIBA World Championship. He then earned Sixth Man of the Year honors the following season after posting a third-best 14.6 points on 53.3% shooting and a third-best 8.7 rebounds per game.
That all went crashing down after the Lakers initially traded him to the New Orleans Hornets in a deal that would’ve landed them Chris Paul had the NBA not intervened.
In a controversial move, the Lakers accommodated Odom’s trade request to the Dallas Mavericks for a $8.9 million trade exception and a flurry of draft picks. Odom averaged then career-lows in points (6.6), shooting percentage (35.2), rebounds (4.2), assists (1.7) and minutes (20.5). Odom’s numbers weren’t much better with the Clippers last season posted a career-low four points on 39.9 percent shooting and 5.9 rebound
Odom has since told reporters that his marriage with Kardashian is “unbreakable.”
“We’re very concerned about him,” Jackson said. “But I understand things are looking up … so I’m really hopefully that will happen. Basketball has been his life and without it, it’s a very destructive course.”
Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org