Lamar Odom May Play 1 Game In D-League
Odom is likely to play at least one game with the Mavericks’ D-League affiliate in nearby Frisco to, as one source said, “get his legs back under him.” The Texas Legends play the Austin Toros at home Thursday night, but sources said it’s more likely Odom practices with the Legends on Friday while the Mavericks are in New Orleans and then plays Saturday’s home game with the Legends, also against Austin, while the Mavericks are playing host to Utah.
A team spokesman had said earlier Thursday that Odom will not make the trip to New Orleans. The team plans to provide another update on Odom’s status before Saturday’s game.
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While the team was in Memphis Wednesday, Mavericks owner Mark Cuban met in Dallas with Odom and his agent, Jeff Schwartz, to work on a timetable that would ease Odom back after his weeklong personal leave.
Cuban could not be immediately reached for comment Thursday. But he made it clear before Tuesday’s home game against New Jersey that Odom would get as much time as necessary to work through a family matter that prompted management to excuse the 13-year veteran from the team last week.
Neither Odom nor Schwartz could be reached for comment.
Forcefully ruling out growing speculation that Odom was seeking a buyout of his contract, Cuban had insisted Tuesday that he expected Odom to ultimately return to the team, saying Odom is “dealing with issues and like we do with anybody else who’s had personal issues, my job is to help him out and not to comment beyond that. He has to clear things out and that’s what we’re trying to help him do.”
Two sources with knowledge of Odom’s thinking told ESPN.com earlier this week that — while the 32-year-old admittedly did briefly ponder retirement during the offseason following the death of a younger cousin — Odom wants to keep playing despite his season-long struggles.
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He left the team before the All-Star break to attend to his ill father in Los Angeles, sources confirmed Monday to ESPNDallas.com.
“We’re not going to buy out anybody, there’s no reason to do it,” Cuban said. “We’re not going to do that. That’s not the way we work. We try to find what the problem is and fix it.”
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