INDIANAPOLIS — Former Lakers forward Lamar Odom joined the Spanish team Laboral Kutxa, a positive development during an otherwise tumultuous year.
He’s dealt with a divorce from reality television star Khloe Kardashian. Odom was arrested last summer for drunk driving in which he plead no contest. He was waived by the Clippers amid his off-court issues and averaging a career-low four points.
Odom credited Pau Gasol for providing an assist after the two once provided many of them together through four years with the Lakers, including two NBA championship seasons.
“I was told about Baskonia through my agent. I spoke to Pau,” Odom told reporters. “I understood that Pau had a great relationship with Coach Sergio (Scariolo), that was one of the main reasons why I wanted to come.”
Gasol, who grew up in Barcelona, sounded surprised.
“I didnt have a chance to talk to Lamar,” Gasol said. “He’s hard to reach. The guy is very hard to reach. I love him to death.”
Gasol then added he lobbied Scariolo to add Odom to his roster.
“I love him and know how much he loves the game and just wanted an opportunity (for him),” Gasol said. “I hope he takes advantage of this opportunity and plays the game he likes to play. Hopefully it’ll work out.”
“It’s not easy to leave your country, go away, play somewhere else where you have no friends and you can’t speak the language. I can relate to that. But hopefully he’ll just focus on basketball and he’ll get his confidence and rhythm back and he’ll finish off the season well.”
The Lakers sent Odom to Dallas in 2011 after he demanded a trade following the team unsuccessfully traded him in the nixed Chris Paul deal.
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