Odom hires OJ Simpson’s ex-lawyer

The legal woes are stacking up for Lamar Odom, and he could use some help. So he went for the big guns when hiring a lawyer this week following last Friday’s arrest on a drunken driving charge.

Odom isn’t getting just any Los Angeles bigwig, though — he’s staying within the sports celebrity family for his legal help. TMZ reports that Odom has hired Robert Shapiro, the lawyer best known for defending O.J. Simpson in his infamous trial.

The NBA veteran was arrested Friday morning on suspicion of driving under the influence when California Highway Patrol saw him driving erratically on the 101 Freeway.

Odom, who has been plagued by reports of marital problems recently, was arrested at 3:54 a.m. and booked in Van Nuys at 5:01 a.m., jail records say.

According to the California Highway Patrol report, Odom was driving eastbound on the 101 Freeway in a “serpentine manner” at speeds of about 50 mph. Authorities tried to pull him over, but weren’t successful at first. When he eventually came to a stop, Odom showed “objective signs of intoxication and was unable to perform field sobriety tests as explained and demonstrated,” according to the report.

Odom also refused to do the chemical test at the station, which under California law means that his license will be suspended for a year. 

"He did the one thing you should never not do: refuse the chemical tests," California Highway Patrol Officer Leland Tang said.

Odom was released Friday morning after spending about 3½ hours in jail.

TMZ later reported that Odom had been in an auto accident days before this incident.

Strangely, the other car in the accident last Saturday belonged to a Los Angeles Times reporter.

As for the marital problems, Odom returned home on Monday for the first time in days, looking “gaunt” and “tired,” the New York Daily News reported. He still was wearing his wedding ring, according to reports, as was his wife, Khloe Kardashian, later that day.

Rumors of Odom’s drug problems have swirled over the past week, with TMZ claiming the 2010-11 NBA Sixth Man of the Year has been a hardcore crack cocaine user for at least the past two years. While that claim is dubious — the NBA has tested regularly during the season for recreational drugs since the 1980s — Odom’s poor play the past two seasons has lent credence to the reports of drug abuse.

E! News reported that news of Odom and Kardashian’s separation is false and the family is focused on “getting better.” Odom’s agent also told reporters that his client intends to continue his NBA career.

Earlier in the offseason, Odom ran into trouble earlier this offseason when he smashed a paparazzo’s camera.

The city of Los Angeles said it would not file charges against him.

Odom, 33, is a free agent. He averaged a career-low 4.0 points and 5.9 rebounds while playing in all 82 games last season with the Los Angeles Clippers.