Lamar Odom accuses Mark Cuban of disrespecting him during time in Dallas
Lamar Odom has never made a secret of the personal struggles he was dealing with during his wasted season as a member of the Dallas Mavericks. Though he ultimately apologized to his teammates, coaches, and the organization at large for off-court troubles and distractions that caused him to step away from the team without notice midway through the 2011-12 campaign, Odom is now shedding new, damning light on how owner Mark Cuban treated him.
In his May autobiography, Odom describes an incident in which Cuban, seemingly frustrated with the veteran forward’s play and performance with the Mavericks at large, kicked him in the shin during a game.
“During one homestand, I was having possibly the worst game of the season. Head coach Rick Carlisle subbed me out, and I looked for a seat near the coaches, but none were available. So I went down to the only open seat at the end of the bench. Right next to Cuban,” he writes, per Joey Haden of The Dallas Morning News.
“Cuban extended his right foot and kicked my shin. … I was stunned. This wasn’t a tap. I felt it.
Odom, 39, felt so flagrantly disrespected by Cuban that if it wasn’t for teammate and longtime friend Vince Carter calming him down, he believes he would have resorted to retaliatory violence.
“In an instant I was transported back to Linden Boulevard, where the slightest act of disrespect could be fatal. As I sprang up, Vince Carter, who was sitting next to me, grabbed my arm tightly and leaned in,” he says.
“What if Vince, who I had the closest connection to on that team, hadn’t been sitting there? What if he had been paying attention to the game and hadn’t seen the incident? I can say beyond a shadow of a doubt that Vince Carter saved me from catching a charge and ending my career in disgrace.”
Lamar Odom, whose addiction issues led to a lengthy hospital stay in 2015, was listed as inactive by the Mavericks for the season’s remainder, a mutually agreed-upon parting of ways. He last played in the NBA in 2012-13 with the LA Clippers.