There are few Lakers role players in the history of the Lakers, let alone in the last few decades, as beloved as Lamar Odom. Apart from being a key piece of two title teams, Odom was a lovable figure in his time in Los Angeles off the court as well.
All of that is what made his downward spiral difficult to watch from afar. That spiral culminated in Odom landing in the hospital in a coma battling for his life. Miraculously, he not only survived but is still going strong in 2022 as a recovering drug addict.
Among his new ventures, Lamar launched a podcast and, on the first episode, shared an absolutely wild and lengthy story detailing how he sold his championship rings from 2009 and 2010 after leaving the hospital in 2015 before being reunited with them in recent weeks:
“To make a long story short, there was a time I came up out of the coma, I checked my account and my s--- was at like double zero and I panicked a little bit. I mean, I’m Lammy, I’m the first black Kardashian, people always used to seeing me up. Got a lot of friends in really high places and I wish I would have used them but I just came out of the coma and my mind wasn’t really in the right place. I put (the rings) up for auction. It hurt me even just to say that. So, whatever, I put them up, put the money in my pocket, put it to use. Made some use of it. I think that money’s even kind of helped me get back here but it was embarrassing for me to do that.
Some years go by and I happen to make my way back to LA. I get in touch with the Lakers, go to a Laker game and they helped me out with some good tickets. I get there and see a guy who used to sit right by us. Let’s call him Franz for right now. My man Franz. He says ‘Yo, Lamar, I bought your rings.’ I said ‘Oh, s---.’ Because at this point, I’m still embarrassed...But he was like ‘Yeah, I have your rings.’ So, after getting over that embarrassment, he’s like ‘Just come pick ‘em up.’ I pulled up on him and he gave me my s--- back for nothing.”
There is the possibility that the Lakers may have given Lamar new championship rings. Although the circumstances were quite different, the team did recently commit to replacing Slava Medvedenko’s rings as he was auctioning them off to help support Ukraine’s war efforts.
Fortunately, it’s a bridge that need not be crossed as the originals are back in Lamar’s possession. Seeing Lamar back in a good place physically and mentally earnestly just brings a smile to my face. Considering how dire the situation felt back in 2015, it feels like a miracle he’s still alive today.
Odom was recently courtside for the Lakers game against the Clippers in the team’s home opener, which appears to be the game he met up with the owner of his rings. It’s always great to see him courtside for home games and here’s to many, many more of those appearances throughout the years moving forward.