Friday, June 21, 2024

An ‘Embarrassed’ Lamar Odom Responds to Being ‘Deactivated’ by Ice Cube’s BIG3 League

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DETROIT, MI – JUNE 22: Lamar Odom #45 of Enemies looks on during week one of the BIG3 three on three basketball league at Little Caesars Arena on June 22, 2019 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Big3/Getty Images)

*Lamar Odom’s dream of returning to pro basketball was crushed this week after he was “deactivated” from the BIG3 basketball league for the remainder of the season.

No specific reason has been given for why Odom was canned, but the league said in a statement that the changes were implemented to “maximize competition, protect the health of players, and to raise the level of professionalism” of the 3-on-3 league, via USA Today

The streets are whispering that Lamar failed a drug test, and that’s why he was given the boot. But league co-founder Ice Cube is speaking out about why he was really let go — explaining, “We want players that are actually playing.”

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39-year-old Odom was a member of the “Enemies” — playing alongside Gilbert Arenas and Royce White — but he was axed by the league on Wednesday. The former Lakers star reportedly posted only 2 points and 4 rebounds in 3 games and sources tell TMZ he simply wasn’t ready to play. 

Cube co-signed when the outlet caught up with him at LAX … “You know, as a league we want players that are actually playing,” he said. He noted  that there’s no place on the BIG3 roster for players who “can’t play” or have “health issues” that prevent them from playing. 

When asked if he was concerned about Odom, considering his past health issues and drug use, Cube replied, “Always, I love the guy.”

Meanwhile, Baron Davis, Jermaine O’Neal and Bonzi Wells were also “deactivated” from the league. 

“As the premier professional 3-on-3 league in the world, we are always striving to improve the quality of both the live and broadcast experience for our fans as well as the level of competition,” reads the release from the league. “In addition, the smooth running of our internal organization, while in great shape for a young third-year league, needs to be improved and ongoing changes will continue to be implemented and finalized by next Monday.”

lamar odom (tmz pic)

UPdate …

Lamar Odom has responded to the foregoing info.

He told TMZ Sports that he’s “extremely disappointed” about being cut from the BIG3 basketball league, but he claims he first learned about the move on social media … and not from Ice Cube.

“As most of you have heard, the @thebig3 decided to deactivate me for the remainder of the 2019 season,” 39-year-old Odom said.

“I respect @icecube & the other league executives, however, I am extremely disappointed with the way that this has been handled.”

“Besides the embarrassment, it’s disappointing to read on IG that this decision had been made, especially without sharing it with myself or my manager.”

In response to Odom saying he wasn’t contacted by Ice Cube (or his reps), here’s what TMZ Sports is also reporting:

“Our BIG3 sources tell us … execs are adamant they made multiple attempts to reach Odom before the league publicly announced Odom had been deactivated but they never got a response from Lamar.”

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