Lamar Odom returned to professional basketball on Saturday, June 22, playing for the Big 3, three years after an almost-fatal overdose.
The former Lakers star, 39, took to the court as co-captain of the Enemies in the three-on-three basketball league game at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit. They lost to Bivouac 50 to 43, but Odom was undeterred, telling actor Michael Rappaport in a courtside interview that he liked the pace of the game, adding, “Once I get my rhythm back, it should be no problem.”
— BIG3 on CBS (@thebig3) June 23, 2019
Fans commented enthusiastically on the Big 3’s Twitter account, with one writing, “One of the most talented player[s] I’ve ever seen! You deserve to be happy!”
Another wrote, “I gotta say. This is pretty special knowing where this man was only a few years ago.”
Gregory Shamus/Big3/Getty Images
It’s been a long road back for the NBA veteran, who almost died from a drug overdose at a legal brothel in Nevada in October 2015, suffering a series of strokes and heart attacks while in a coma.
Odom confirmed his return to the court in November 2018, writing in an Instagram post, “Yes to playing for the @thebig3 next season right before playing the CBA 2019 season in China. Working hard right now to get my physical right ! you all know, my body has been through allot these years but I have been cleared healthy by my doctors to play again. There is no better way for me to retire from Basketball then to play one more time. My fans deserve it and I can’t wait to play again.”
The former Khloé & Lamar star, whose divorce from Khloé Kardashian was finalized in 2016 after his near-death experience, wrote about his ups and down in his recently released memoir, Darkness to Light.
He opened up about his marriage to the Keeping Up With the Kardashians star, 34, and his decades-long battle with drug addiction in the tell-all.
Odom revealed in an Instagram post earlier this month that the book was on The New York Times best-seller list.
“What felt like a lifetime of writing and working on this project finally came to Light and I am grateful to YOU ALL! Your continued support and love is appreciated!” he wrote, thanking his friends and family, including his ex-wife. “It took a lot of courage for me to get so raw and candid with you all but I wanted you guys to get MY true story!”
The Good American co-founder commented on his post, writing, “Look at God!!! Congratulations Lammy! Keep shining.”