Dallas Mavericks: The Demise of Lamar Odom

Sam Schwartz@seschwartz365Correspondent IApril 12, 2012

EL SEGUNDO, CA - MAY 11:  Lamar Odom #7 of the Los Angeles Lakers speaks during a news conference at the Lakers training facility on May 11, 2011 in El Segundo, California. The Lakers were swept out of their best of seven series with the Dallas Mavericks four games to none. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

The Kardashians are the most famous family in all of reality television and have a strong connection to the sports world, with Kim and her mother Kris in relationships with Olympians, NFL players and NBA players.

Then, in September 2009 Kim's sister Khloe married Lamar Odom. Odom made a number of appearances on E!'s Keeping up with the Kardashians and got his own show on the network with his wife in 2011 titled, Khloe and Lamar.

This has been the worst year of the reigning NBA Sixth Man of the Year's career. After the lockout ended in December, the Lakers tried to trade Odom away to the Hornets in return for Chris Paul. However, the trade was vetoed and Odom was left torn. He felt that he could not play for a team that did not want him, so Los Angeles sent him to the Mavericks for almost nothing.

Odom was supposed to be a key contributor off the bench for the defending champions, but dealt with a lot of emotional problems throughout the year. After putting up significant career lows of 6.6 points and 4.2 rebounds per game, Dallas placed Odom on the inactive list.

There are a number of reasons for Odom’s departure from the team. One is the fact that he had an altercation with Mavs owner Mark Cuban during halftime a few weeks ago. Another is the fact that his depression has finally caught up with him.

People will say that professional athletes are traded every day and most do not get depressed when they are sent away, but Odom's trade was the straw that broke the camel's back. Lamar has gone through a lot of loss over the past couple years and is suffering from much more than your average trade aggravation.

When he was just 12 years old, his mother died of cancer. Later in life, his grandmother, who had taken care of him following his mother death, passed away. Two years later, in 2006, Odom's six-month-old son Jayden died of SIDS.

Things seemed to be going well for Odom after last season. On the court, he had won two titles with the Lakers and was rewarded as the top bench player in the entire league. His marriage with Khloe was taking off, and their reality series had made its debut.

Everything got worse for Odom once again this past summer. In July his young cousin was murdered in New York. A month later he was the passenger in a car that caused a motorcycle to strike and kill a teenage pedestrian.

These two incidents teamed up with all that he went through earlier in life, as well as his shocking trade from the Lakers, really hurt Odom. It probably did not help much either that Odom's life has been under a microscope as a new reality star.

Before people criticize Odom for giving up on the Mavericks, remember that he is a very sensitive person. However, even though he has been wildly depressed, he should still try to make it back onto the court. Basketball players only have so many years to play, and they should not put them to waste.