LOOK: Former Lakers star Lamar Odom arrives in Manila
MANILA, Philippines – Former Los Angeles star Lamar Odom arrived in Manila on Wednesday, January 23 to join the Mighty Sports Philippines squad that will see action in the 30th Dubai International Basketball Championship from February 1 to 9.
Odom, who won back-to-back NBA championships with the Lakers in 2009 and 2010, will reinforce the Philippine club team along with Barangay Ginebra’s resident import Justin Brownlee.
As expected, the 6-foot-10 forward got mobbed by fans at the airport before heading to Mighty Sports’ first official team practice for an international basketball club tournament.
Although already away from the NBA, Odom made headlines in 2015 for drug overdose that landed him in a coma and on life support. But since the incident, the 2011 Sixth Man of the Year has turned his life around and has been working on getting back into competitive shape.
Odom spent 14 years in the NBA and last played for the Los Angeles Clippers in the NBA in 2013.
Odom and Brownlee will reinforce a squad bannered by Chris Tiu, Beau Belga and Kiefer Ravena in the tournament featuring several top club teams in the Middle East.
Chinese Basketball Association veteran Randolf Morris and Fil-Am players Jeremiah Gray and Roosevelt Adams will also beef up the squad mentored by Charles Tiu.
Former PBA star Joseph Yeo, Gab Banal, University of the Philippines' Juan Gomez de Liaño, La Salle's Santi Santillan, College of St Benilde's Justin Gutang, National University's Troy Rike, and ex-Ginebra player Jett Manuel round out the team.
Veteran coach Jong Uichico and Woody Co will serve as Tiu’s deputies.
Odom had bared in a social media post that he intends to use the tournament to get back in top form as he plans to join the BIG3, a 3-on-3 basketball league that showcases former NBA talents, and the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA).