Lamar Odom Biography
Birthdate: November 6, 1979
Birthplace: Queens, New York
Everybody has a sidekick. Batman had Robin and Kobe has Lamar. We've got the scoop on this super versatile forward for the Lakers!
Growing UpLamar Odom got his flashy, multi-dimensional game playing ball on the streets of New York City. As a kid, Lamar was short and played the point guard position. He learned how to handle the ball and become a good passer. At the age of 12, Lamar's mother died from cancer and Lamar moved in with his grandmother. Lamar found his refuge in basketball. After his freshman year in high school, Lamar suddenly sprouted from 6'2" to 6'9". Like Magic Johnson, Lamar was a big man with superior all around skills. He starred for three years at New York City powerhouse, Christ the King. Because of grade-issues, he transferred high schools twice - first to Redemption Christian Academy in Troy, NY, then St. Thomas Aquinas Prep in Connecticut. Lamar was named to the 2007 McDonald's All American team and was regarded as the second best player in his high school class behind Tracy McGrady.
CollegeLamar originally signed with UNLV for the 1997-98 season, but after questions arose about his SAT scores and possible illegal payments, he transferred to the University of Rhode Island. In his sole season with the Rams, Lamar averaged 17.6 points per game and led his team to the NCAA Tournament. Lamar entered the 1999 NBA Draft, where he was chosen fourth overall by the Los Angeles Clippers.
Pro CareerIt didn't take long for Lamar to prove he could play with the big boys. In his rookie season, he averaged 16.6 points, 7.8 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game. He continued to have productive seasons in his four-year tenure with the Clippers, but made immature decisions like violating the league's drug policy for marijuana use. In 2003, he signed a six-year, $65 million deal with the Miami Heat. Lamar led the young Heat to the second round of 2004 playoffs. Despite his solid year in South Beach, Lamar was shipped to the L.A. Lakers in the 2004 offseason in a blockbuster trade that also sent Shaquille O'Neal to the Heat.
Fresh StartGoing back to Los Angeles gave Lamar a chance to play with perhaps the best player in the NBA, Kobe Bryant. While his four years as a Laker has been up and down for Lamar, his team finally got it together for the 2007-08 season where they earned the top spot in the Western Conference. Lamar has become one of the best sidekicks in the NBA. His leadership and ability to play all five positions are part of the reasons why the Lakers are back at the top.
Did U Know?
Lamar Says...“I’ve always been taught to care what other people think. My grandmother and mother taught me to project a positive image of myself."