Lamar Odom had a reunion with his former teammates Luke Walton and Brian Shaw Monday when he observed the Los Angeles Lakers’ predraft workout, and when he showed up again Tuesday he said that he wants to make their reconnection a permanent one.
Odom told Mark Medina of the Orange County Register that he “hopes” to become a member of the Lakers coaching staff, re-joining the organization he helped lead to three-straight NBA Finals appearances, winning titles in 2009 and 2010.
Such a decision is not only up to Odom, however, and the Lakers told Medina that “Walton has simply invited Odom to observe the past two days of workouts.”
Odom is still a fan-favorite in Los Angeles, but it makes sense that the Lakers are taking their time before adding him on a more permanent basis. Odom has struggled with substance abuse over the last several years, most notably when he fell into a coma in a Nevada brothel two years ago, and the team wouldn’t be doing their job if they didn’t make sure he was ready for a role on the coaching staff before hiring him.
Odom confirmed his desire to help the team in some fashion in an Instagram post Tuesday:
What role Odom would play on the coaching staff is also unknown. The Lakers saw former assistant coach Theo Robertson depart for a job at the University of California, Berkeley at the end of the season, but are “finalizing” the hire of Arizona alum Miles Simon to replace him.
Role aside, if the Lakers hire Odom at some point it would complete one of the more stunning turnarounds in recent athletics history, with Odom going from what many presumed was his deathbed back to the team he had his most success with in just two years time.
I think we can all root for that, as long as Odom is ready.