These comments come as Odom finds himself in the midst of several scandals. It was recently reported that the former Los Angeles Lakers star has struggled with an addiction to crack cocaine for several years. In addition, a mere two days after Randolph's somewhat controversial remarks, Odom was arrested in California under suspicion of driving under the influence. Though to his credit, Randolph's comments were made under the assumption that Odom could get his personal life balanced.
Zach Randolph is certainly no stranger to off-court scandals himself. He has been under investigation in the past for drug-related crimes, and, during his own tenure with the Los Angeles Clippers, Randolph was arrested under suspicion of driving under the influence.
Due to his troubled past, many fans were skeptical of Randolph as he joined the Memphis Grizzlies in 2009. Though over time, it became evident that Randolph saw his stay in Memphis as an opportunity to effectively rebuild his image. Over the past several seasons, he has managed to avoid any serious off-the-court scandals. Additionally, his production on the court and charitable work in the community has helped develop Randolph into a true fan-favorite in Memphis.
With Zach Randolph's own story of success in mind, many Memphis fans would likely agree that troubled players deserve a second chance. However, there is a major distinction with Odom that cannot be overlooked. An addition to an illegal controlled substance is something that cannot simply be moved into the past. Lamar Odom is most definitely at his low point and has a long and difficult road of recovery ahead of him. There is also an issue from a basketball standpoint. Odom was set to enter his 15th NBA season this year and is likely toward the end of his career. Both of these factors must make one question whether Odom will ever play in NBA again.
Many Grizzlies fans would sympathize with Zach Randolph's compassionate thinking. If there is one place a rehabilitated Lamar Odom would be accepted, it would be Memphis. Though chances of such a scenario becoming a realistic possibility are slim to none.
Zach Randolph took advantage of the second chance he was given in Memphis. Unfortunately, for former NBA champion Lamar Odom, a similar opportunity may never become an option.
Nicholas Naveiras is a lifelong Memphian, college student, and diehard Memphis Grizzlies follower. He has followed the franchise's on- and off-court progress since 2001.
- Sports & Recreation
- Memphis Grizzlies
- Lamar Odom
- Zach Randolph