Lamar Odom sees his axing from the BIG3 basketball league as an opportunity for quality time with his family. On Monday, July 15, the athlete posted a lengthy Instagram caption in which he vowed to “reconnect and heal” with his children.
“As human beings, we often don’t realize that we are unconsciously following in the footsteps of our parents,” Odom, 39, wrote in the post. “They have been our school of life until adulthood, and beyond. I feel that we are living in a world that for many of us is an emotionally unhealthy world filled with baggage from our past that we often never think about. A world of unconsciousness.”
He added: “My beautiful escape from the pain of life has always been basketball. The first thing I did when I heard that my Mom passed away, was run to my childhood court in Lincoln park and escape there. Being deactivated from the Big 3 has made me realize that I can no longer depend on basketball to find emotional relief from the inevitable hurdles of life. I’ve made a decision to stop this time, reflect for real and not run away or escape – not into basketball or anything else.”
Odom returned to professional basketball on June 22, captaining the Enemies team for BIG3, a league co-founded by rapper Ice Cube. On July 10, though, BIG3 announced Odom was “deactivated” for the 2019 season, a decision Khloé Kardashian’s ex said he was “extremely disappointed” about.
“A door has closed and I am going to stay conscious enough while I build my next door,” he wrote on Instagram on Monday. “Together with my daughter Destiny and the mother of my children, Liza Morales, I am going to use this opportunity to connect to my children and break the cycle of my past. All three of us have been through extreme difficulties, individually and as a family, that we have not spoken about.”
Odom has two children with Morales: daughter Destiny, 21, and son Lamar Jr., 17. The couple also had a son named Jayden who died from sudden infant death syndrome in 2006 at 6 months old.
In his Instagram post, the former Los Angeles Lakers star alluded to his 2015 near-fatal overdose as he committed to better communication with his family. “My story is far from uncommon but I have been blessed with a platform and a 2nd chance at life,” he wrote, explaining that he had reached out to MicDrop, a public speaking training firm, for support. “The environment that I grew up in, did little to foster authentic communication. I know that I can do better; for myself, for my children and for the world. We all owe it to ourselves, to our children and to our families to do the same.”