Lamar Odom Denies Having Drug Problem

Zach BuckleyNational NBA Featured ColumnistSeptember 10, 2013

LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 25:  Lamar Odom #7 of the Los Angeles Clippers looks on during a break in NBA game action against the Denver Nuggets at Staples Center on December 25, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. The Clippers defeated the Nuggets 112-100. 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 Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)
Victor Decolongon/Getty Images

Stopped by paparazzi outside Teru Sushi in Los Angeles on Monday, free-agent NBA forward Lamar Odom denied having a drug problem and said he's not in need of professional help, via

Odom told TMZ that "life is good" and expressed a desire to play basketball in the upcoming 2013-14 season. 

It may seem like a strange set of questions for the former Sixth Man of the Year and two-time NBA champion, but this offseason has run rampant with tales of his alleged substance abuse.

TMZ had previously reported that Odom had been abusing "hardcore drugs" for the last two years and spent part of last summer at a San Diego rehab facility.

Shortly after an interview surfaced with Radar Online, via, of an anonymous man who said he sold Odom "roughly more than $50,000" of drugs. The man also claimed to have witnessed Odom "high" from cocaine approximately 10 different times.

His tumultuous offseason has also reportedly featured at least one run-in with law enforcement. According to the California Highway Patrol, via Richard Winton of the Los Angeles TimesOdom was arrested in late August on suspicion of driving under the influence.

If Odom truly wants to return to the NBA, he'll likely face an uphill battle to find a roster. Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News reported that the Los Angeles Clippers have no plans to bring the 14-year veteran back.

Since leaving the Los Angeles Lakers prior to the 2011-12 season, Odom's on-court reputation has been severely tattered. He set career lows in scoring in each of the last two seasons, bottoming out at just four points per game in 2012-13, while failing to shoot above 40 percent from the field in either year.

But if these allegations are true, Odom faces more serious issues than rediscovering his jump shot.

Even at the professional level, basketball's still only a game.