Former Los Angeles Laker and current NBA free agent Lamar Odom has been making headlines for all the wrong reasons this summer. The latest troubling allegation is that he is struggling with drug abuse, specifically crack cocaine, according to TMZ. Odom was suspended for violating the NBA's drug policy in 2001 and admitted to smoking marijuana at the time.
The allegations present a serious problem to NBA teams interested in signing the veteran forward. While they are allegations from "sources" on a celebrity gossip platform, they are serious enough to raise questions regarding his ability to focus and play basketball in the NBA.
The Los Angeles Clippers had expressed interest in re-signing Odom, reportedly offering him a veteran's minimum contract. Antawn Jamison has also been on the Clippers' "radar" but the organization had informed him that Odom was their priority after teammates lobbied to bring Odom back.
Odom has held out on signing with the Clippers, desiring a more lucrative contract. There have been no reports Odom has been offered a larger contract from another organization. The Lakers contacted Odom in July to explore the option of bringing him back though there have been no updates on negotiations between the two sides.
Odom has yet to agree to terms with the Clippers and the organization has re-focused their attention to signing Jamison. The team is now "closing in on a deal" with Jamison, according to ESPN's Ramona Shelburne. Odom, meanwhile, would like to return to the Lakers, a "close contact" of Odom told Jared Zwerling of ESPN.
Odom has not responded to the allegations.