Lamar Odom reportedly to play for Turkish team
Although both players and owners hold out hope they can reach a labor deal this weekend, Lakers forward Lamar Odom has apparently already made contingency plans.
According to ESPN.com's Marc Stein, Odom has agreed in principle to play for the Turkish basketball team, Besiktas, as early as next week. Should the NBA lockout persist at least through next week, Lakers forward Lamar Odom plans to play for the Turkish basketball team, Besiktas, until the work stoppage ends.
Should that happen, Odom's overseas gig would mark a homecoming of sorts for his strong role in Team USA's FIBA World Championship's gold-medal win last summer in Istanbul. Although Odom's wife, Khloe Kardashian is of Armenian descent, the reality television star reportedly remains popular in over there as well.PHOTOS: Lamar Odom through the years
Therefore, Odom's stint would prove beneficial in other facets. Odom, whose two-year $17 million contract with the Lakers includes only $2.4 million in guaranteed money, will reportedly earn over $2 million with an opt-out-clause from Besiktas. His overseas venture would most likely enhance his conditioning and focus much like the way his FIBA World Championship proved instrumental in Odom clocking his most consistent effort in the 2010-2011 season. And with Odom spending plenty of time this offseason promoting his branding efforts with the Kardashians, this stint would only expand that profile. In turn, Besiktas reportedly pursued Odom because of his versatility, his friendship with New Jersey Nets guard and Besiktas frontliner Deron Williams and a manageable contract.
But first things first. Negotiations will start again Friday in hopes the NBA season can start by Christmas Day.
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Photo: Lamar Odom. Credit: Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times