The basketball season has ended early for Lamar Odom. For the second time in a matter of weeks, the NBA all-star is off the Dallas Mavericks roster — but this time, it's for good. The forward has had a rough time this season after being traded to the reigning NBA champs by the Los Angeles Lakers back in December. In early March, Odom was dropped by the Mavs and briefly relegated to their D-league team, the Texas Legends, after missing practices and games due to "family issues," yet after just one game he was back with the Mavs. Unfortunately, things did not get any better for Odom, husband of Khloe Kardashian, so he's out yet again.
"The Mavericks and I have mutually agreed that it's in the best interest of both parties for me to step away from the team," Odom, 32, told ESPN in a statement on Monday. "I'm sorry that things didn't work out better for both of us, but I wish the Mavs' organization, my teammates, and Dallas fans nothing but continued success in the defense of their championship."
Instead of releasing Odom from the team, the Mavericks will list him as "inactive," so that they have the opportunity to trade him when the season is over. Before coming to Dallas at the start of this current season, Odom — who was picked fourth by the Los Angeles Clippers in the first round of the 1999 NBA draft — was considered a star player averaging 14.4 points a game during 32 minutes of play. This season, however, those numbers plummeted to just 6.6 points in only 20 minutes of play.
At the time he was dropped down to the D-league last month, many of Odom's teammates voiced disappointment with his performance thus far. "Trust factor is always big," point guard Jason Kidd said. "For that, he's going to have to earn it with a lot of the guys. But we all give second chances, third chances. For that, we just want him to be him and be comfortable and play." Dirk Nowitzki echoed similar concerns, but offered his support as well. "If [Odom] can play hard every night and be there for us, it'll be OK. It'll work out." But it didn't, and now Odom will be moving on to his fifth NBA team.
So far, no word yet from Kardashian, who relocated to Dallas to support her husband. Odom has often been criticized for filming a reality show, E!'s "Khloe & Lamar," with his wife during the NBA season, instead of focusing solely on his game. But Mark Cuban, the owner of the Mavericks, always supported his player's outside project. "We will make it as easy as possible for [the cameras]," he said in December, shortly after signing the reality star, "but they wouldn't have access to the locker room beyond what we give other media."
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