Phil Jackson Possibly Bringing In Odom
Phil Jackson walked himself into quite the situation this year in New York.
The President of Basketball Operations for the Knicks is without a first round pick this year, and that pick just happens to be a lottery pick in the deepest drafts for quite some time, loaded with potential. Along with the already disadvantageous situation, Superstar Carmelo Anthony (for whom the Knicks traded the first round pick) may opt out of his contract early, and test free agency.
Without these luxuries, Phil has to bring in some familiar faces into the lineup to get the team back to the playoffs. Marc Stein of ESPN reported that the Knicks have shown interest in Forward, and former player under Phil Jackson, Lamar Odom.
The 34 year old has fourteen years of experience since being drafted fourth overall by the Clippers in 1999. Since joining the NBA, he’s averaged over thirteen points and eight rebounds per game. Having spent time with the Clippers, Heat, Lakers, and Mavericks, he’s best years came during his tenure with the Lakers, when they won back-to-back Championships in the ’08-’09 and ’09-’10 seasons.
With his experience and talent, however, comes a heavy amount of off the field baggage. While being years away from the player he used to be, he’s had multiple stints with alcohol and drug abuse. The Mavericks did their best to accommodate him and keep him on the team, he eventually was too much for them to handle, showing he couldn’t assimilate into the team atmosphere, and they released him.
He then signed with the Clippers the following season, and it seemed like a safe pick-up. The Clippers had a plethora of young talent, but needed veteran leadership to follow through. Living with his wife, Chloe Kardashian, in downtown Los Angeles, it seemed like a perfect fit. Yet he showed up overweight and out of shape, and eventually entered a rehabilitation center.
Recently, Odom has been playing in a Spanish Basketball League, but left due to a back injury.
This may not be the biggest talent for Phil Jackson to try and lobby Carmelo Anthony to stay another year with the organization, but anything will do at this point.
The Knicks are looking to sign him before the season finale, bench him, and pick up the team option for the 2014-2015 season. This would give them all off-season to monitor his conditioning and any legal issues, and make sure he’s ready and prepared for the upcoming season.