taking a year off from basketball to get his mind together. The near trade to the New Orleans Hornets and subsequent trade to the Dallas Mavericks weren't the reasons why he had a thought about leaving.
Left reeling by the July murder of his 24-year-old cousin and a fatal car accident days later that killed a teen pedestrian after the car he was riding in as a passenger collided with a motorcycle, Odom told ESPN.com that he had to be convinced by wife Khloe Kardashian to scrap his plans for a hiatus.
"Real close," Odom said when asked Saturday how close he came to asking the Lakers for a season-long sabbatical.
"My wife talked me out of it.
"Cause I was asking myself: 'Was I mentally prepared to play? If I didn't play well, was I mentally prepared to help the team?' I had thought, 'Maybe I need a year.' Because of the lockout, I thought, 'Maybe somebody's sending me a sign that I needed this time off.'
"(But) when I told some of my friends and my family that I was thinking about steppin' back for a minute, I think the reaction from the closest people to me kind of gave me the energy to get back at it."
With some of the events that have transpired recently in Odom's life I have to take him at his word. Sometimes tragic events stick with someone forever. With what Odom has gone through, you just don't get over it, so being traded is small potaotes in his prism of life.
But Odom, dismissing the notion of a trade hangover, said Saturday that the events of July made him realize "how much I wasn't over some of the things that I went through (in life)," most notably the death of 6-month-old son Jayden in 2006 from SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).
"I thought it was good time for me to take a step back," Odom said of his sabbatical idea. Asked if he imagined it as just a one-season break, Odom added: "I don't know. 'Cause who knows where time away is gonna take you? You never know."
Who wouldn't want to take a break after all the drama. However, since he has been in the NBA there has always looked like something was amiss with Odom. He just looked like the classic floater, with the Clippers more than anyone, but he was supposed to be a game changer when he came out of Rhode Island. He gets by on being so talented and athletic he really doesn't work too hard at it, but he's still a damn good player.
Hopefully he can get his head straight and help the Mavericks defend their title. It's been a rough start for Odom and the Mavericks, but I'm sure he'll start to put everything together after he gets a little more comfortable.