Lamar Odom pleads not guilty to DUI charge in California
Free agent forward Lamar Odom pleaded not guilty Wednesday to DUI charges in California.
The Los Angeles Times reports that Odom’s defense attorney entered the plea for him.
Odom was arrested in August on DUI charges for allegedly weaving in and out of traffic in a white Mercedes. After refusing to take chemical tests, he was released on bail shortly after the arrest.
The last few months have seen Odom’s name repeatedly hit the headlines. ESPN.com reported in August that Odom’s friends were “trying to get him help for an unspecified drug problem” in light of reports that suggested he was “missing” and having marital problems. He briefly entered a rehabilitation center, according to reports, and he vented in detail last month after his father, Joe, discussed Odom’s wife, reality television star Khloe Kardashian Odom, and her family.
In an emotional message posted to Twitter, Odom admitted that he was experiencing a “dark time,” while also taking his “absent” father to task for passing on his “demons” and making disparaging comments about his wife and her family. Odom has previously stated that his father is a “heroin addict.”
Joe Odom told RadarOnline.com that the Kardashians “cursed” and “brought down” Lamar and suggested that a divorce would be the “best thing” for his son because Khloe Kardashian Odom is “controlling.”
Also in September, Lamar Odom denied have a drug problem or needing professional help in a brief video interview with TMZSports.com. He also said that he would “hopefully” play during the 2013-14 season.
The 33-year-old Odom is an unrestricted free agent after spending last season with the Clippers, with whom he averaged a career-low four points and 5.9 rebounds in 19.7 minutes per game. Odom has spent 12 of his 14 NBA seasons in Los Angeles, including five years with the Clippers and seven years with the Lakers, with whom he won back-to-back titles in 2009 and 2010.
A skilled, versatile forward who was named 2011 Sixth Man of the Year has seen his career go off the rails in recent years. In December 2011, the Lakers traded him to the Mavericks after reports of a dispute with management. Odom played just 50 games in Dallas before he was essentially told to remain home. The Mavericks traded him to the Clippers last summer, and while he did appear in all 82 games last season, his production was a fraction of what he offered during the championship seasons with the Lakers.
Shortly after Odom’s off-court issues first game to light, the Clippers signed forward Antawn Jamison to a one-year contract.