Mavericks, Lamar Odom agree to part ways

BY foxsports • April 9, 2012

The Dallas Mavericks and forward Lamar Odom have reached an agreement to end their relationship.

Odom will not be released from the squad, however. Instead, he will be listed as inactive until the end of the season. The Mavericks then could trade him. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram was the first to report the news on Monday.

General manager Donnie Nelson said it has been a rough year for the former Los Angeles Laker.

''The
timing is what it is. These things never come at the best of times, so
we felt with the playoff push coming up it was probably in everyone's
interest,'' Nelson told the AP. ''Look, it's been a frustrating situation.
Lamar hasn't performed like he wants to perform, is capable of
performing. He's dealt with a lot of personal issues, and at this point,
we need to be able to count on some folks. It's never easy to do these
things. We just need to move on."

Odom, a reality TV star by virtue of his marriage to Khloe Kardashian,
took a 10-day leave of absence this season to attend to personal issues.
Upon his return, he was sent to the Mavs' NBA Development League team,
though he never appeared in a game with the Texas Legends before the
Mavericks returned him to their active roster.

The Mavericks acquired Odom before the start of the season, but the two parties never seemed like a fit for each other. Dallas gave up an $8.9 million trade exception to the Lakers for the reigning NBA Sixth Man of the Year.

"It just didn't work out like we thought it would,'' a source said, the Star-Telegram reported. "But we wish Lamar nothing but the best.''

Fans and media in Dallas quickly grew impatient with Odom's play, often criticizing his lack of effort on the court. Odom gained the label of being lazy, at least in the view of the fans, and things took a particularly ugly turn on March 21, when he was booed in Dallas while playing his old team, the Lakers.

Khloe had to come to his defense through her Twitter account.

"Positive energy goes a long way," Khloe tweeted. "This crowd needs to figure out who they are rooting for! Let's go Mavs! Everyone/anyone is entitled and expected to miss a basket, but either way the positive energy will fuel these Mavs! We got this!"

Khloe's tweets were not enough.

Odom admitted that he came into this season out of shape and not in the right mindset after on offseason of tragedy. In July, his 24-year-old cousin was shot and killed. Shortly after, Odom was involved in a car wreck in New York City. An SUV he was riding in struck a motorcycle, which then struck a 15-year old pedestrian. The boy died the next day.

The events left Odom shaken and contemplating retirement. And after 50 games, the effects were still having a toll on him, leading to a split with Dallas.

The struggles of Odom seemed to be a distraction for a team fighting for a playoff spot, with players and coaches showing frustrations after games when asked about him.

In his final game as a Mavericks, Odom played only four minutes and contributed only a single rebound. Dirk Nowitzki refused to answer any questions about Odom after the game.

Odom averaged career lows of 6.6 points and 4.2 rebounds during his 50-game stint. He also shot a career-low 35.2 percent from the field.

The Associated Press contributed to this report


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